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Sunday, January 19, 2020

African Fashion Spotlight: Ghana

Ghana is a multi-ethnic country located in West Africa.  In addition to being a producer of natural gas, Ghana is also one of the world’s largest producers of diamond, gold and cocoa.

Ghana like her West African neighbours is known for her colourful attire that comes in various designs, which has become a major contributions to the world of African fashion.

Top African fashion designers of Ghanaian descent, include  Ozwald Boateng, Kofi Ansah, Tetteh Adzedu, Joyce Ababio and many more.

The most popular fabrics and textiles used in Ghana’s fashion – both historic and contemporary – include Kente, Adinkra, Fanti, Batik and Tie Dye.


Kente – hand woven traditional textile cloth

With its origin in the Ashanti Kingdom of Ghana, Kente cloth which is native to the Akan ethnic group of Ghana, has gained music popularity in West Africa and even globally.  Associated with Ghanaian royalty, this textile was worn during by kings and during very important events. Kente is very much a major part Ghana’s cultural heritage. 

Adinkra – hand printed traditional textiles

Adinkra cloth was traditionally worn by royalty and spiritual leaders for funerals and other very special occasions.  

In Akan, Adinkra means goodbye  or ‘going ahead’ which is why this textile was traditionally used in funeral & sacred ceremonies. 

Adinkra are symbols, originally created by the Akan people of Ghana.  These symbols are used to represent concepts and they are used in fabric patterns as well as pottery and even logos.

 Fanti – appliqued and embroidered

This cloth is characterized by appliqued or embroidered motifs.  The textiles were made to honour great warriors and leaders, which is why Fanti cloth is  sometimes know as ‘akunintama’ or the ‘cloth of the great achiever’. 

The appliqued or embroidered motifs  have specific messages that relate  to the exploits and achievements of the person it is made for.

Wax Prints

Wax prints are more evocative of contemporary Ghana and is very commonly seen its everyday fashion.

Batik and Tie Dye

Batik means wax written.  These fabrics became popular in Ghana in the 190s-1970s.

The Batik making process involves the use of wax to block dye from certain parts of the cloth, resulting in interesting colours and patterns on the cloth.

The Tie/Dye process involves tying the cloth in certain sections to resist dye absorption and then immersing the cloth into the dyes.


Written by Paige Hamilton

Paige Hamilton spent her early life in Nigeria before returning to settle in the UK.  She is a writer and editor at her blog ChicWithKinks.Com and also owner of her natural hair & beauty product line, TLC Naturals found at TLCNaturalsOnline.Com, which specializes in quick acting hair growth products












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