Home > Fabric design

Most of our fabrics (Batik, Mudcloth, Indigo, tie dyed and Rabal) are handmade by local artisans in West Africa. The making of these fabrics are the state of art and the ancient designs and weaving methods are still used and remain an important part of African lifestyles.

Handmade looms are still used today to weave various textiles. The looms are usually handed down from generation to generation. During the weaving process, they are placed in horizontal, vertical, or angular positions.

Textiles are often enhanced through hand-stamping, stenciling, dyeing, painting, or embroidery. Sometimes soil is used to make paint, and dyes can originate from herbs, leaves, bark, nuts, fruits, vegetables, and grasses; these are mixed with water or other chemicals such as zinc, sulfur, or iron to obtain the desired thickness and hue. Colors hold different cultural meanings based on village or family affiliations. In some parts of Nigeria, red is a threatening color worn by chiefs to protect them from evil, but it is a sign of accomplishment in other areas, while red is used for mourning robes by in Ghana and for burial cloths in Madagascar.

Traditionally, many African textiles were not cut or tailored. Instead, they were draped and tied to suit various occasions.

But with the current interest in textiles outside of Africa, textiles and handmade fabrics are being cut and fashioned into contemporary clothing and home furnishings, including pillows, upholstered furniture, wall hangings, blankets, and throws. When authentic African textiles are fragile or rare, we recommend having them professionally mounted or framed for use as wall hangings.

Please click below for the detailed making process of each of the African handmade fabric type.

African batik
Indigo cloth