“Kente” means “basket”. This fabric was so named due to its resemblance to a woven basket design. The Kente cloth is one of the most globally recognized fabrics amongst all the African fabrics.
As a festive attire, the Kente is worn at several annual festivals. More so, it also serves many purposes in other traditional contexts. It can be used as a palanquin liner, umbrella fabric, drum wrapper, shield covering, fan, amulet casing, and even loincloths. The Kente can even be seen as a wall hanging in Parliament House in Ghana and also in the United Nations. Some African and African American scholars still argue the fact that the Kente should be used strictly for clothing in special occasions with the exception of its traditional purposes.
Presently, there are more and more Nigerians embracing traditional attires. Different styles and designs are created on a daily basis with increasing fashion trends. Undoubtedly, one of the traditional fabrics that is surprisingly gaining popularity is the Kente. Unlike some other fabrics, the Kente does not fade. It is quite durable and can last you for years. So, if you’re looking for a great fabric to leave a long-lasting impression on everyone who sees it, then you should probably go for the Kente.
The Kente originated from Ghana, however, it is now acclaimed globally. It is fortunately not restricted to the borders of its founding country as citizens of other countries (both men and women) can be seen rocking the outfit today. The fabric can be worn for several occasions such as weddings, church services and other significant ceremonies. In Ghana today, the Kente fabric is worn during important ceremonies and is also worn by almost everyone. The outfit is highly accepted by other people, aside Ghanaians.
With its stunning bright and colorful nature, the Kente fabric is not made for a specific gender. Both men and women are free to make lovely and beautiful designs with the fabric.
Kinds of Kente Fabric
The Kente fabric consists of two kinds which include:
I.) The prints: These are made in the several shades of the original woven ones.
II.) The woven fabric: The woven fabric is more expensive than the prints.
The Kente can be used for a number of purposes. It can be used to create different outfits and worn:
I.) for social outings.
II.) as an accessory example a shawl, which can be thrown around the shoulder.
III.) as a traditional outfit for a bride
IV.) as Jackets, skirts and pants or office wears.
V.) for dinner dresses in social outing or as a suit for corporate outings.
VI.) as a complete jacket and a dress.
For women, the finishing touches to wearing a Kente outfit lies in your accessories/jewelries and shoes. Also, remember to wrap your hair with a nice head tie or just a nice hair do to complete that African look.