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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Kente Cloth, Haute as Ever

Kente Cloth is the official traditional Cloth of the Ashanti tribe in Ghana. The authentic Kente cloth is hand-woven  with the loom using cotton and silk.  The colour choices used in the weave are very vivid with unique symbolism.  For instance the yellow depicts preciousness, royalty, wealth while green symbolizes vegetation, spiritual renewal and growth.

The Asante Kente is characterized by it's geometric shapes, multicoloured composition and bold designs.  Because it is hand-woven they can be expensive, so also available are the Kente Prints which are made through the dye and wax technique. The Kente print besides being less expensive, is more readily incorporated into modern fashion as it is the more manageable in terms of texture, weight and ease of care.

The different patterns each have a name and meaning derived from historical events, proverbs, individual achievements, philosophical concepts, moral values, social code of conduct etc.



Four inch strips of Kente are sewn together to produce the desired size. The Kente strips can also be worn as scarves and head wraps.  I have seen shoes and bags fabricated with Kente so really the fabric is quite versatile and lends itself to the creative hands of the fashion geniuses...

On a side note, the hair wraps in the next three photos are not Kente but they are no less elaborate.  I am thinking to do a blog post on these beautiful hair accesories!! Make your suggestions and questions heard in the comment box below...

















The two pictures below illustrate the Kente Print tastefully married with modern fashion...







Bill and Hillary Clinton donned Kente when they visited Ghana in 1998...



You may also like: 12 Kente Fashion Dress Styles, African Prints and Bold Colours
Photo credits: saflirista.com, kenteworld.com, globalpost.com.

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