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Fabric Descriptions

Batik - Method of dyeing textiles, principally cottons, in which patterned areas are covered with wax so that they will not receive color. Multicoloured effects are achieved by repeating the dyeing process several times, the initial pattern of wax being boiled off and another design applied before redyeing.

Batik or fabrics with the traditional batik patterns are also found in several countries such as Malaysia, Japan, China, Azerbaijan, India, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Nigeria, Mali, Senegal, and Singapore. Our batik comes from Mali.

Bògòlanfini or bogolan ("mud cloth") is a handmade fabric traditionally dyed with fermented mud. It originates from an important and history rich culture of Malian. Widely recognized as a symbol of African American culture this cloth does have specific care guidelines.

Kente is an Asante ceremonial cloth hand-woven on a horizontal treadle loom. Strips measuring about 4 inches wide are sewn together into larger pieces of cloths. Cloths come in various colors, sizes and designs and are worn during very important social and religious occasions.

In a total cultural context, kente is more important than just a cloth. It is a visual representation of history, philosophy, ethics, oral literature, moral values, social code of conduct, religious beliefs, political thought and aesthetic principles.

The term kente has its roots in the word kenten which means a basket. The first kente weavers used raffia fibers to weave cloths that looked like kenten (a basket); and thus were referred to as kenten ntoma; meaning basket cloth. The original Asante name of the cloth was nsaduaso or nwontoma, meaning "a cloth hand-woven on a loom" and is still used today by Asante weavers and elders. However, the term kente is the most popularly used today, in and outside Ghana. Many variations of narrow-strip cloths, similar to Kente are woven by various ethnic groups in Ghana and elsewhere in Africa.

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