BY Etsey Atisu, 7:00am July 07, 2019,

Here is the meaning behind some of your most favorite African print fabrics


The African print fabric is no longer a fashion statement that is akin to African people alone. Over the last decade or so, other cultures have found interesting and unique ways to incorporate the print into their fashion.

Dating back to the colonial days, the Dutch were the first to introduce what was known as the ‘batik wax resist’ textiles into Africa from Indonesia. This was done in an effort to curtail local textile production in Indonesia by producing and supplying machine-made imitations of Javanese batik.

In that attempt, the imitated version was rejected by the Indonesian natives but was patronised by Africans as one of the main foreign imports.

These fabrics are mostly designed to mirror various African cultures and traditions. Many of the designs found on the fabrics portray events or adages. Others also depict highly respected people.

Below is a list of some of the most popular ones and the meaning behind each of them. The names of these fabrics mostly come from Ghana where the practice is almost traditional. A few others are from other parts of Africa.

Last Edited by:Sandra Appiah Updated: July 6, 2019


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