African Fabric: Should African Designers Print Their Own fabrics?

For centuries wax prints have remained highly desired fabric that have become an integral part of the vibrant culture of West African and more recently designers around the whole world are seen embracing it. African wax prints fabric holds a special meaning in the hearts of African’s because they each tell a story to the wearer. It is even more creatively interesting to find the same fabric used in different ways by different designers. The fabric used for the Out Of Afrika kaleidoscope bag and below are Sika Designs Matric Cape and Mac Jacket bares resemblance if not the same. I know there are some classic African prints pattern fabrics that has been worn for many years and continues to be reproduced, Should designers print their own fabric to make their brand unique or stick to reproducing old patterns?

Out of Africa Bag Shop here

Sika designs By Phylis Taylor

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3 Responses to African Fabric: Should African Designers Print Their Own fabrics?

  1. Mary Roach says:

    Interesting post. I think there are many issues at play here.

    1) most designers don’t have the scale required to design and then print their own fabrics using the West African factories. From my research GTP requires a minimum order of 3000 yards and DaViva 200 yards (which is very manageable!). Thus the majority of designers using made-in-Africa prints are dependent on what is available in the market

    2) designers lack access to information and the decision makers in the wax print companies. Can you imagine what the print companies catalogue looks like? It must be amazing…but as of what I know it is really hard for an individual to come in and a) see the catalogue and b) dicsuss the option of co-designing a print.

  2. Frederic Tapé says:

    Hi, these qre two great pointss you made there, now what makes it difficult to produce at an artisanal level, the way woment do it in villages?

  3. Pingback: To Print or Not To Print - Shadders Asks Timeless Textile Question « THE AKUVI PROJECT

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