Posts tagged with ‘African fabric’

  • Fabric of the Week: African Violet Batik

    This week’s fabric selection is anpther Adire  which is a handmade, hand-drawn batik fabric from Nigeria. This one has an abstract floral theme hence the name.

    Here’s what we did with it.

    1.  AFRICAN VIOLET BATIK TOTE

    African-Violet-Bee-Bag6

    2. AFRICAN VIOLET SHAWL

    African Violet Splash Shawl

    3. AFRICAN VIOLET MINISNAP CLUTCH

    African Violet Mini Snap Clutch

    By in Fabric of the week
    Urbanknit
  • Nike Davies-Okundaye: A Retrospective

    Nigerian artist Nike Davies-Okundaye currently has a retrospective exhibition of her work spanning more than 40 years at the Gallery of African Art in London.

    Time: October 9th to November 22nd, 2014

    Where: Gallery of African Art

    9 Cork Street,

    London W1S 3LL.

    Tel: +44(0)207 287 7400

    Enquiries: info@gafraart.com

    Website: www.gafraart.com

    By in Events & News
    Urbanknit
  • Fabric of the Week: Red Stars Ankara

    This week we have a wax print as our fabric of the week. It features a red star motif against an olive green background. Definitely a show-stopper and not for those that want to do subtle!

     

    1. RED STARS ANKARA SUPERSNAPRed Stars Supersnap Clutch

    2. RED STARS ANKARA IPAD SLEEVE

    iPad Sleeve

    3. RED STARS ANKARA ZIPPER POUCH

    Red-stars zipper pouch

    By in Fabric of the week, Our Products
    Urbanknit
  • Fabric of the week: Chocolate Roses Ankara

    This week our fabric of the week is the Chocolate Rose Ankara fabric. Made in Nigeria by a local textile mill (NICHEM), it features a simple floral motif against a green backdrop. 

    Here’s what we made with it!

    1. CHOCOLATE ROSE ANKARA MEGASNAP CLUTCH

    Chocolate Rose Ankara Clutch

    2. CHOCOLATE ROSE BEE BAG (TOTE)

    Chocolate Rose Bee Bag

    3. CHOCOLATE ROSE ZIPPER POUCH

    Chocolate Rose Ankara Zipper

    By in Fabric of the week
    Urbanknit
  • African Fabric for Sale

    You can get a range of unique Ankara (African wax print) and Adire (hand-dyed, handmade tie dye) fabric shipped right to your door!

     

    By in Fabulous Finds
    Urbanknit
  • Upcycling Workshop with Yinka Ilori

    Yinka Ilori is a East London based designer with a degree in furniture and product design. He specialises in up-cycling vintage furniture inspired by traditional Nigerian parables and African fabrics that he grew up with as a child. Each piece of furniture that he up-cycles tells a meaningful, yet humorous story which can be shared with people throughout the world.

    Yinka Ilori Up-Cycling Workshop

    He is running his 3rd series of up-cycling workshops starting in May! You’ll get the chance to upcycle your own chair in his studio in the heart of East London! You’ll get the opportunity to up-cycle your own chair inspired by the traditional Nigerian parables you select and decide to work with! It’s a fun experience where you learn about the art of storytelling through Nigerian parables.

    You’ll be musically inspired with sweet African music while working on your chairs and possibly luckily for you in this series there will be a live talking drummer throughout the series playing the parables while you work!

    Get involved!

    EMAIL: hello@yinkailori.com

    WEBSITE: www.yinkailori.com

    FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/yinksdesigns

    Urbanknit
  • Want to Buy African Fabric?!

    It is pretty clear I LOVE batik aka Adire aka tie dye fabric.

    Soooooooo, I also realise you love it too and I have opened an ETSY store to provide you with some unique finds from across the African continent.

    We will continually add new pieces as we get them.

    So check out our current stash over on Urbanstax. There is currently Adire and Ankara in-store.

    Let me know what you think!

    By in The Store and Studio
    Urbanknit
  • Introducing Adire

    Àdìre

    Adire pronounced (pronounced ah-d-reh) is the indigo dyed cloth made predominantly by Yoruba women in South-West Nigeria. The fabric is produced using a range of resist dye techniques. There are several techniques used to make adire ranging from tieing and stitching the areas that will resist the dye, to the use of wax for the same purpose. Additional methods also include hand-painted or stenciled designs directly onto cloth. The word Adire is now used more generically to refer to various resist dye fabrics in Nigeria.

    Adire Blue

    Traditional Adire

    Modern Adire

    Modern Adire

    Indigo in West Africa

    Indigo was the basis of numerous textile traditions throughout West Africa. Indigo in West Africa was obtained from local plant sources, either indigofera or lonchocarpus cyanescans and transforming the raw material into a dye was a complex process requiring great expertise.  The art of indigo dyed cloth was a highly valuable skill passed on by specialist dyers from generation to generation. From the Tuareg nomads of the Sahara to Cameroon, Senegal and Mali indigo cloth signified wealth, abundance and fertility. Among the Hausa of Northern Nigeria, where the export trade in prestige textiles was highly organised, male dyers working at communal dye pits were the basis of the wealth of the ancient city of Kano. Sadly this has seen a fast decline due to cheap imports from Asia as well as the unrest and violence experienced in the region. Watch this BBC piece on the current situation.

    Kano Dye pits

    Kano Dye pits Image courtesy of BBC News

     

    I find the various dyeing techniques quite interesting as they involve threading, stitching and tying the fabric similar to the Japanese Shibori methods of tie dye.  Shibori is a Japanese term for several methods of dyeing cloth with a pattern by binding, stitching, folding, twisting, compressing it, or capping. They have beautiful names such as Kanoko shibori, Itajime shiboriMiura shibori, Kumo shibori and Nui shibori. Each of these describes a specific method used to achieve a certain result. In Japan, the earliest known example of cloth dyed with a shibori technique is said to date from the 8th century. Check out this wonderful blog that features a daily post on various Japanese textiles- www.dailyjapanesetextile.wordpress.com/

     

     

    Mino Shibori Juban

    Mino Shibori style used on man’s juban
    Image courtesy of dailyjapanesetextile.wordpress.com

     

    Looking through books and images, there are so many similarities between some of the traditional Japanese fabrics and the Nigerian ones I grew up wearing.

     

    Adire

     

    As with most things, there is now a modern twist to tie and dye fabric especially in West Africa. Adire is not quite as popular as the ubiquitous African Wax Print but I am one of the many champions of the cause! Check out how we’ve mixed up the gorgeous fabric here on Urbanknit.

    Are you a fan of the traditional style of indigo? Or do you adore brightly coloured modern Adire? Share your thoughts!

     

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    By in Knowledge
    Urbanknit
  • Introducing Aso-Oke fabric

    One of my favourite fabrics to work with here at Urbanknit is the wonderful Aso-oke fabric. The history, the colours and even the ‘format’ it comes in are all very interesting. Most of all I love the story and this is my own way of capturing some of it. My aim is to look at the history, manufacturing techniques, fabric care etc of Aso-oke and I will update this post with any additional information as it is found. Please join in the discussion by asking questions, offering your own insights and opinions about it. Here goes!

    Aso-Òkè

    Aso-Oke (pronounced ah-SHOW-kay) is short for Aso Ilu Oke which means clothes from the up-country. It is also sometimes refereed to as Aso-Ofi. It is a hand woven cloth made mostly by the Yoruba tribe of south west Nigeria. The woven strips are sewn together to make clothing.

    CLOTHING

    A Yoruba woman’s complete outfit would consist of the following;

    • Iro– a large piece tied like a wrap-around skirt
    • Buba– a loose fit blouse
    • Gele– a headtie
    • Pele– a shawl that goes around the waist
    • Iborun– a scarf

    A Yoruba man’s complete outfit would consist of the following;

    • Buba– a loose fit top/shirt
    • Shokoto– trousers
    • Agbada– a large robe worn over the Buba

     

    Men's Agbada

    Men’s Agbada- Photo courtesy of ZODML http://www.zodml.org

     

    Aso-oke is usually worn on special occasions like coronations, festivals, weddings, funerals, engagement parties, naming ceremonies and other important events. It serves traditionally as formal wear. Aso-Oke is often also worn as Aso-Ebi (ebi meaning friends, and/or family) where similar colours are worn by all to a particular event to symbolise unity.

    There are several fabrics that are similar in nature to Aso-oke, i.e. fabrics that are handwoven in strips. There is Kente from Ghana, Akwete also from Nigeria just to name a few.

     

    PRODUCTION:

    The cloth is produced mainly in Iseyin (Oyo state), Ede (Osun state) and Okene (Kogi state) all in Southern Nigeria.

     

    TYPES OF ASO-OKE:

    Originally there were three main types of traditional Aso-oke based on their colours. The original versions of these cloths are now quite rare and are fast becoming vintage finds.

    Etu

    Etu is a deep blue, almost black, indigo dyed cloth often with very thin light blue stripes. Etu means guinea fowl, and the cloth is said to resemble the bird’s plumage.

    Etu Aso Oke

    Sanyan

    Sanyan is woven from the beige silk obtained locally from the cocoons of the Anaphe moth, forming a pale brown/beige cloth. This was commonly worn during weddings and funerals.

    Sanyan Aso Oke

    Alaari

    Alaari is woven from magenta waste silk.

    Alaari Aso Oke

    CARE OF ASO-OKE:

    Aso-oke garments can be carefully handwashed or drycleaned. We would recommend that you spot-clean your Aso-oke accessories from Urbanknit. This will elongate the life of the fabric and your accessory.

    Below are a few of our accessories which have been made out of this versatile, beautiful textile.

     

    Dark Magenta Aso Oke Pico Pouch

    Dark Magenta Aso Oke Pico Pouch

    Olympics Tote Bag in Aso Oke

    Olympics Tote Bag in Aso Oke

    Radiant Orchid iPad Sleeve in Aso Oke

    Radiant Orchid iPad Sleeve in Aso Oke

    Navy Blue and Turquoise Aso-Oke Cushion- Pair

    Navy Blue and Turquoise Aso-Oke Cushion

    Etu and Pink Aso-Oke Listra Clutch

    Etu and Pink Aso-Oke Listra Clutch

    Vintage Aso Oke clutch

    Vintage Aso Oke clutch

     

    If you are looking to purchase Aso-oke fabric for your own creations then www.urbanstax.com have a great selection.

    By in Knowledge
    Urbanknit