Did you know that September is African Fabric Month? In celebrating the beauty of African textiles this month, we want to tell the story of some of the most stunning African textiles featured for our latest collection — Ankara, Wax Adire Batik and Adire Batik.
Ankara is a textile made through wax-resisting dyeing techniques. It has bold batik-inspired patterns embedded with intricate symbols, each carrying its own story. For example, Fleur de Mariage is the pattern for one of our latest Ebi dresses made with Ankara cotton. The motifs depict wedding flowers, symbolising the beauty and delight of marriage.
Ankara’s origin has a rich history spanning multiple continents, brought from Indonesia during the colonisation period. Despite being rooted in Indonesian culture, Ankara became popular in Africa due to its vibrancy and breathability of cotton texture, making them well-suited for the colorful landscapes and warm climate in the continent. Likewise, we thought that Ankara would be perfect for the upcoming summer months.
The Adire Batik textile is our choice for this collection’s Rose Skirt. A signature textile within the Yoruba women of South-West Nigeria, Adire is a dyed cotton cloth made using a variety of resist-drying. One example of this technique is the hand-painting or stenciling patterns of cloth with cassava starch paste prior to dyeing. Feather, one of our Rose Skirts, is an Adire Batik with designs of indigo and lush green birds’ feathers. Structured and sturdier in texture, this skirt is perfect in brightening up your formal and smart casual wardrobe.
Another prominent form of Adire is the Wax Adire Batik, as seen in our Kemi Tops. This process involves applying wax using wood stamps, stencils or foam rubbers to create patterns. After soaking with dye, wax is removed and fabric is hung to dry. Regardless of the different techniques, the process of creating Adire is labour-intensive. It is often purely handcrafted without the help of any machine. While imperfections may arise in the process, we see them as Adire’s uniqueness — it shows the tenacity of its makers.
We hope that you celebrate African Fabric Month with us by enjoying the feel, wear and vibrancy of Ankara & Adire in our latest dresses, tops and skirts.