Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Kente Cloth Versus Kente Wax Print


If you can't tell the difference between Original Kente Cloth and The Kente Wax Print counterpart, you are not alone as  advancement in industrial textile manufacturing have blurred the lines leaving the inexperienced fashionista befuddled.  Allow me to explain.  First do a double take at these three Kente Dress Styles...
Can you tell the real Kente from the print?  Well neither could I.

I attended a traditional function a couple of weekends ago where I obtained pictures of these gorgeous traditional African dress styles.  I had to seek help from some friends, Kente experts, if I may to tell the legit Kente from the wannabe Kente.  I am not about to spill the goods on which Kente fabric shown here is the real deal but I will share what I learned from the questions I asked how you can tell the authentic fabric apart from the print version.

Real Kente is hand-woven on a loom, an intricate and time-consuming process, the resulting fabric hence can be up to ten times more expensive than the printed version.  The more obvious difference however is the cleaner, sharper delineations of the geometric patterns seen on the Kente print.  If it looks too good to be true, chances are it is.

The real Kente is woven using Rayon, a much thicker fabric than the mostly cotton or silk used for the Kente print.  As a consequence, the Kente Print is far more malleable, lending itself to more elaborate dress styles.

So much for the differences.  The obvious trend I noticed at the traditional function is how folks wore their Kente.  Pinks and Blues were the common colours, and I am guessing it is probably a 2012 thing.  Notice how in the pictures a chosen accent colour is used for accessorizing the outfit to achieve a more elegant and modern look.  I am referring to the Gele, head gear, which adds a Nigerian dimension to the Kente ensemble.  If you like bold colours, your are going to appreciate these looks...

I will explore the traditional way that Kente is worn by the Asante people in celebrating their culture and heritage in a blog post coming soon so visit the blog again if you like all things Kente.

Thanks for stopping by..
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  1. Great post! I had no idea Kente fashions were so complex. I'm learning so much from your blog. Thanks!

  2. I have one more story about how Kente is worn by the ashanti people during their traditional ceremonies in the pipeline. Stay tuned!