Posts tagged with ‘African Textiles’

  • An African Revolution: Fashion Africa Conference

    Yes, I have booked my ticket to attend the Fashion African Conference which is in exactly two weeks from today. I have never attended before and I am looking forward to hearing the different speakers and discussions.

    Organised by the Africa Fashion Guide the event is happening on the 24th of April which is also Fashion Revolution Day. The aim of the gathering is to discuss the future of the African Fashion industry in particular the full supply chain of African Fashion Design, Textiles, and Manufacturing and to communicate this to a larger, global audience through media.

    This event is recommended to all fashion designers, retailers, students and any one in the business of fashion.

    Check out the talks going on on the day

    PANEL 1) – African Revolution – Fashion Made in Africa

    PANEL 2) The New African Fashion Market – Designers, Fashion Shows, Media and Retail

    PANEL 3A) Africa is Open for Business  – Africa as a Source for New Business

    PANEL 3B) Textile Futures – Africa’s Cotton, Leather and Textile Industry Opportunities

    PANEL 4A) Source Africa and Navigating Value Chains, Logistics and Red Tape

    PANEL 4B) Africa’s Triple Bottom Line – Sustainability, Ethical Credentials and Responsibility in the African Fashion Industry

    There is also a selection of great speakers from far and wide. I am particularly looking forward to hearing Arieta Mujay of African Creative Collective, Chris Springs of the British Museum and Hannay Pool of the Guardian and Africa Utopia. I think it is going to be very enriching. Do come and check join the discussion. More information on how to attend can be found below. If you are coming, do leave a comment to say so and hopefully see you there!


    MORE INFORMATION:

    DATE: Friday 24th April, 2015

    TIME: 10AM  to 5PM

    VENUE: Rich Mix 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, E1 6LA London

    TICKETS:  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/fashion-africa-conference-2015-london-an-african-revolution-tickets-15333903117?ref=estw

    PRICE:  £49

    CONTACT: events@africafashionguide.com

    EVENT WEBSITE: www.fashionafricaconference.com

    By in Events & News
    Urbanknit
  • Adire Patterns: Story Telling Through Adire

    We are huge fans of batik fabric, in particular Adire which is the type of tie dye fabric popular among the Yoruba people of Southern Nigeria. If you have a look at our products made with Adire, you get a sense of various patterns that are repeated across the fabric. Each of these patterns have very specific meanings.

    indigo batik shawl

    Indigo Red Batik Clutch

    Indigo Blue Batik Blazer

     

    Although I knew what some of these symbols represented, I have always wanted a catalogue of sorts, where they were all explained. I was extremely excited to learn of the new book Storytelling Through Adire: An Introduction to Adire Making and Pattern Meanings by Allyson Aina Davies which I purchased immediately.

    The book details very beautifully with illustrations what each of these patterns and symbols mean, each with a name and story. The stories are often words of advice from the elders, or a means of documenting social, economic and environmental conditions. With symbols such as Adé- Crown, Eegun-eja- fish bone, Ewé ẹ̀gẹ́- Cassava leaf and many more.

     

     

     

    With the collection of symbols on each piece of cloth, we start to see a story unfolding in this unique cross between art and functionality. If you are interested in African fabric design and in particular Adire patterns, I would definitely recommend this book. It is a great resource. I love the fact that each piece we make out of Adire gives you a small piece of a much larger story. A little portion of Yoruba history and wisdom!


    FOR MORE INFORMATION:

    Please check out Adire Patterns website for more information: www.adirepatterns.com

    Adire Patterns Twitter handle: @AdirePatterns

    WHERE TO BUY THE BOOK:

    The book is available in the following places.

    • ONLINE on Amazon
    • STRANGER: 3 Hakeem Dickson, Lekki Phase One, Lagos, Nigeria
    • QUINTESSENCE: Park View Estate Entrance, Off Gerrard Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria
    By in Books to Read, Knowledge
    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
  • 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