African Print Fabric

Wax print is the typical fabric of west Africa. We know it in various forms in Ghana. This traditional brightly printed fabric is sewn into lovely up-and-downs(skirt and top) and some shirts for men. Wax print designs tend to be large and multi-coloured. I’ve seen wax print with images of alphabet letters, computers and now purses and stiletto heels. A few years ago a Ghanaian promotion of local fabric encouraged wearing traditional cloth on Fridays. We both enjoyed following this local custom.

Benin takes wax print to a whole other level. Men and women wear clothes made from the bright fabric as everyday wear. Men wear pants and shirts from the same fabric. Women might have a skirt of one and the wrap of another and baby tied on her back with a third. And somehow all the bright colours, the matchy pants and shirt, and various combinations of prints all seems to work and to our eyes looks so glamorous.

Jonathon bought a shirt (but not matching pants). Laura will stick to buying yards of the fabric for future use.

Some Beninois men looking good