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The Art and Innovation in African Fabrics

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The African fabric has inspired many designers and artists around the world. For most of us, we use art to express our feelings and beliefs. For Africans, they often use this art on the textiles. Decorated clothes are a powerful expressive medium in their culture. For many centuries, African fabrics provide not only personal adornment but also a powerful statement.

The Art in African Fabrics

Instead of using sculptures, many contemporary African artists prefer putting their masterpieces onto textiles. For them, textiles bring the strongest impact on their work.

The art in African fabrics is unique. It's in the sense of symbolism reflecting in their cultures and many forms of art and design.

Behind the vibrant colors and patterns in fabrics are Africa’s rich history, their hidden language, and rich culture, all of which are woven into each piece.

Take a look at Kente cloths, for example. Kente, which is a popular woven cloth of Africa, are composed of up to 3 patterns and 3 to 4 colors. Each pattern represents its own meaning associated with life, love, family or relationships. And each color signifies an emotion or natural element. These patterns and colors create a story when put together.

The Origins and Innovations in African Fabrics

The African textile industry dates as far back as 5,000 BC when ancient Egyptians began cultivating flax and weaving it into linen.

Later on, as several civilizations flourished throughout Africa, cotton became more common in creating fabrics. In some parts of Africa, people used wild silk, raffia, and bast fibers.

The used to handprint their design using an indigo. Others applied embroidery, patchwork, appliqué, and quilting.

The weaving process was a traditional way of incorporating patterns onto textiles. In the late 19th century, textile industries started using a factory printing method.

In the recent years, African textiles are beginning to compete in both US and UK markets. They come as high-quality and sustainable products and continue to grow on the rest of the world.

With the rising global demand for African art, it’s no surprise that the textiles from this continent are also making an impact.

To supply the rising demand for these materials, textile companies offer wholesale African fabrics to other countries.

African fabrics are making its way to success in the world market. Designers and high-street boutiques are including these fabrics into their collections. All thanks to their dynamic design and statement visualization. 


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