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African-Textiles

ABOUT CLEMKINKSLEY COUTURE

I got my sewing inspirations and ideas through my creative pursuit in so many related areas. I have always taken a liking to trendy fashion pieces. In my younger days, I took to buying fabrics and making myself something nice with the old sewing machine we had in our house. I use Nigerian based fabrics in my creations like Ankara, Batik, and Bou Bou. As the years go by, Clemkinksley Couture was born with all the acquired ideas I have gotten over the years. Clemkingsley Couture sources all their fabric locally and also locally produced in Nigeria, with the best quality fabrics, hand-made and machine-sewn.

The African fabric industry has a history dating as far back as 5,000BC, when ancient Egyptians began cultivating flax and weaving it into linen. 

As several civilizations flourished throughout Africa, cotton became a more commonly used fabric. The explorer Ibn Battuta mentions the presence of weavers in the Mali empire, and in Timbuktu, in the 1300s. 

As Islam was introduced in West Africa, many began wearing today’s version of the boubou.


Some of the most popular fabrics are ‘kente cloth’ and ‘mud cloth’.

The Bogolan or ‘mud cloth’ is a hand-woven fabric originating from Mali. Kente cloth is Ghana’s national fabric, with the most expensive ones made with golden threads for kings in the olden days. Cameroon has a long history of cloth made from the bark of trees with some fabric particularly made from the obom. Nigeria is popularly known for the use and production of the ‘Ankara Fabric’, locally made Tie-dye, wax. 

It is believed that the Dutch, who had seen the natives of Indonesia use wax resist dying to create patterns (Batik), enlisted West African men to assist their army in Indonesia. The African men learned the pattern and brought it to Africa when they returned. The founder of VLISCO, Peter Fentener Van Vlissingen discovered that it was possible to use the already existing wax-printing method which was used to make the African Wax hollandaise to make fabric.

New pieces in monthly.

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