Ulo sources vibrant textiles from Nigeria, Ghana and Tanzania.
Inspired by traditional African wax print, Dinzi and the team design and create collections predominantly with Ankara, a wax print cotton fabric, and Adire, a handcrafted tie-dye textile handcrafted by Adire Masters in Abeokuta, South-West Nigeria.
"Ulo is founded on a deep appreciation for African textiles, traditional craftsmanship and techniques."
Ankara fabric employs the the wax print technique tracing back to Indonesia 150 years ago. Ankara originated from the Dutch, and was widely adopted by the African community weaving culture into the West African style.
The traditional method for Ankara is called 'wax resist' dyeing. An interesting technique whereby the wax resists the dye from bleeding into the cloth, therefore transferring the detailed patterns to both sides of the fabric.
Dinzi works with local Ankara vendors to source a diverse range of wax print and textile.
Most recently, Dinzi and the team have been working with Adire masters located in Abeokuta, South-West Nigeria to source a beautiful textile traditionally known as ‘Adire’, meaning ‘tied and dyed’. Adire is the name for a resist-dyed cloth designed and hand-printed by the Yoruba people.
Traditionally the cloth was folded, pleated and tied before dyeing in Indigo to produce lengths of patterned cloth which were then made up into garments. There is a variety of batiks and tie dye, but the most special element of Adire is its sentimental uniqueness.
"Each piece of Adire textile is truly a work of art."
Due to the organic and somewhat unpredictable design process – no two pieces are the same. With each piece of cloth, you can see the craftsmanship of its creator as they draw the motifs by hand in wax or starch.
You can read more about Ulo's textiles over on the Journal.