African Print Diaries: Print Cloth VS Woven Cloth


Hand Woven Cloth


African fabrics have 2 distinct categories woven cloth + printed cloth. Woven cloth is woven by hand or using a loom while printed cloth has patterns printed on it. True story😯😂 Woven cloth is more time consuming so they are often available in limited quantities at high prices. Woven cloth reflects craftsmanship so the finished product is usually high quality. Pictured above is ekwa-oncha (white cloth or george), a cotton textile native to the Ika tribe. You can see the visible weave patterns. Cool stuff👽

Fancy Print Cloth


Printed cloth (called ankara in Nigeria) is commercial and readily available. Ease of access means quality and price vary. High quality print cloth (aka wax prints) is made using a wax resist technique that prevents fading. They are usually more expensive but readily available. Pictured above is fancy print👽

Wax Print Cloth

Fancy print cloth on the hand, is not manufactured using the wax-resist method so quality varies from shitty to excellent. Pictured above is wax print which is printed on both sides.



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