I was one of those girls who despised anything made of African fabric. Don’t condemn me or come after me, but that’s what I saw in our mainstream media at the time. Back then, the ‘happening beauties’ in Nollywood invariably were ready-made’ clothes. The maids and drivers wore dresses, skirts, and blouses fashioned of African cotton.
This reinforced my innate dislike towards clothing made of African textiles. But my tale has evolved (can I get a hallelujah). I seldom leave the house without at least a sample of African cloth on my person. My most recent favorite is a square batik scarf that I wear around my neck. It generally hangs from my backpack, my neck (depending on the weather), my waist, or my wrist.
Stepping out in African batik is the ultimate game-changer. First of all, batik can be made from almost any fabric so the versatility of what you can do with it is purely amazing.
Close your eyes and envision yourself wearing your favourite garment with African batik patterns on it, dear gods. The whirling layers of patterns seen in batik textiles are stunning. There is something appealing about the diversity and intricateness of African batik cloth.
In order to manufacture batik, precisely designed portions of fabric are blacked out using hot wax. This is done to prevent the dye from covering the pattern. This technique is repeated several times in order to generate the complex designs found on African batik textiles sold in stores.
Stepping into parties in well-tailored African batik costumes and pieces is a sure way to turn heads. It may provide an elegant and chic style that can be simply altered from a day-to-night dress with a few changes.
A costume made of batik, in my opinion, is ideal for sharing and celebrating with friends. It’s the ideal fabric for making a pair of shorts to go to an art museum, a dress to take to a birthday celebration or a jacket for an office meeting. Batik and other African textiles have become highly sought after in fashion, with clothes created from them becoming among the most often worn materials in the world. For example, Beyonce’s visual album, Black Is King, shows a variety of ensembles fashioned from African materials. This demonstrates the vast range of applications for African textiles.
P.S. Don’t be frightened if part of the colour on the outfit washes out during the first wash; this is just some of the extra dye used during manufacture washing off. As a result, avoid washing your African batik garments with other light-colored clothing pieces to avoid the inevitable mess.