Differences between kente and batakari fugu fabric

 A lot of times when people see our handwoven smock fabric they call it kente. This needs to stop NOW! These are two very different fabrics and in this article, I will tell you why. First of all, let me acknowledge the people who work hard to make these beautiful pieces of art we call fabric. I’ve seen both smock fabric and kente being made and it’s such an amazing thing to behold. 

When I was in university I had the privilege to do my final year project work at the place kente began and its biggest production location yet, Bonwire in the Ashante Region. Kente is a handwoven fabric which is often made up of many vibrant colours and made with a loom. The weavers make beautiful patterns and shapes. The weaving is often done in strips and then sewed together to get cloths of different sizes. Kente fabric is mostly worn wrapped around the body or sewn into beautiful garments. In modern times kente is even used to make accessories like bags and shoes as well as decorations. These days the patterns and colours have evolved to the extent that some cloths even have metallic and shimmery looks to them. 

Kente is mostly worn to ceremonial events. These cloths are more expensive than most fabrics on the market because they are handmade and very unique. Kente prints and patterns have been replicated on cotton, silk, satin and other fabrics. Many people frown on this because they believe the essence of kente is being taken away. A lot of these kente replicas are made by Chinese companies which makes the case even worse. Kente fabric has appeared on several international runways by big high fashion brands.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-56484264

Smock or batakari fabric is a handwoven fabric mostly from Northern Ghana. This fabric is made carefully in big looms which are often controlled by women. The main design is long stripes in various colours but often not many colours per cloth. The stripes often vary in size making the design a bit more conservative but unique as well. Smock fabric is also woven in strips and then handsewn together. 

The name batakari means a smock which is what most of these fabrics are used for. Smocks from northern Ghana come in many forms. They are often hand or machine sewn and lined nicely. Ex-President of Ghana, Jerry John Rawlings and John Mahama were two of the people who made smocks very popular among men in Ghana. Samira Bawumia, Ghana’s second lady also brought out the beauty of smock fabric with her high-end tailored dresses.

This smock fabric has been used to make so many things besides smocks and clothes. These days you can find bags, shoes and other fashion accessories made with batakari fabric. As compared to kente, fugu fabric is more affordable. The key difference between the two also lies in the style of weaving and the patterns. Kente patterns tend to be quite busy while fugu fabric is made up of stripes in different thicknesses and colours. 

At the end of the day, both fabrics look beautiful and one can choose either one based on preference. Sometimes you can even combine them. How cool is that? Can we all stop saying Northern kente now? 

The Reign Collection

During the Easter period, we launched a new collection called Reign. This beautiful collection of African-inspired clothes had a bold Christian feel to it with various elements of the passion of Christ. The main colours of the collection were red, black and white. Zedi has not had a redshirt in a long time and we brought one out with this collection. How daring right? The period of Easter does that to everyone. It makes us want to look back on the past and do more of the good things, change the bad things and just be better people in general. This was certainly what we did for this collection.

New fabric

The Reign collection came with two new fabrics. For our black and yellow shirt, we decided to pair the African print Ankara fabric with a twill polycotton instead of our usual polished cotton. We have been in getting requests to change our polish cotton fabric offering and we thought this would be the best time to do that. Another new fabric we introduced was a beautiful off-white brocade cloth. It had the perfect texture for the white dress we designed. We absolutely loved it.

Couple outfits

What is a Zedi collection without matching outfits that couples can wear? In the Reign collection, we have 2 perfectly matching outfits and one that is adorably complimentary. The red is certainly the one that stands out the most while the white is our most popular because in Ghana we love our white.

Lifestyle background

We did things a little differently this time when we were shooting this collection. The backdrop was wildly different from our usual grey or white. We added some props to have more of a lifestyle look. Still, on the Easter theme, we kept the colours earthy and solemn. The browns were sold and did not compete with the clothes at all. All in all, we loved it.

The Reign collection is available in our store. You can click here to order. We hope you like this collection as much as we do and you had an awesome Easter too 🙂

How to care for African wax print fabric

So you have bought a beautiful African wax print or Ankara dress, top or shirt. It probably did not come with care instructions so how do you care for it? How do you wash and dry it? Can you bleach it? Is it dry clean only? Don’t worry too much, we have all the answers. You can learn more about African print fabric here.

Photo Credit – Voice of Nigeria

African wax print fabric is often printed on cotton fabric. This automatically means that caring for it is not going to break your bank. You can put your dry cleaning money away, or better yet spend it at our shop here! When it comes for caring for your wax print garment we will split it into three parts. That is washing, drying and ironing. Let’s start with washing, shall we?

Washing African wax print garments

Before you wash your beautiful bright garment test to see if the colour runs so you wash it with similar colours or separately. This is not necessary for quality fabric but it’s always best to keep it safe. Contrary to popular belief African wax print fabric can be washed with a washing machine. Don’t mind people who say otherwise. It is true that hand washing is a good idea but only because this way you can show more love to your garments and not over wash them. 

For machine washing keep the water cool and set the machine to a gentle wash setting. Remember that Ankara fabric is more of a t-shirt type of cotton than a pair of jeans. Always remember to use a very mild detergent when washing. Harsh detergents cause the fabric to fade a lot quicker over time. African print fabric is made using wax and soaps that are loaded with chemicals can easily cause the fabric to lose its colour so using bleach is an absolute no no! Don’t be that guy, use mild soap. 

Photo Credit – zegist.com

Drying your Ankara clothing

When the washing is done always rinse your garments thoroughly with clean water to get all the soap out. You can dry by hand on a line or by machine as well. A spin dry will never damage your fabric neither will tumble drying. The old fashion way of drying your garment on the line in the sun is just fine too. The only thing to note here is to avoid keeping clothes on the line in the sun for too long. The sun can be very harsh. Most African print garments will dry within 5 hours on a sunny day. 

Ironing African wax print garments

Ironing is the easiest part when it comes to caring for African print clothing. No special settings are needed. The cotton fabric takes heat pretty well because it is a natural fibre. With a little bit of steam your ironing will be done in no time! If your garment has applique, rhinestones or beads ironing can be a bit tricky but for normal clothing it’s a walk in the park. Creases smoothen out pretty easily and so you can comfortably do without fabric spray. Having a steam iron is a plus though. Most African print clothes can not easily be straightened with just a regular steamer so ironing is recommended. 

So there you have it, how to care for your African wax print or ankara clothes. We have heard some stories about this fabric lasting longer when salt is used in the water when washing garments? We can’t really tell how true this is though. Have you tried this before? What was the result? We would love to know! To shop at our store please click here!

Hello African print crossbody bags!

We all know ladies love to have bags that can carry a lot of stuff but sometimes for a quick step out or night in the town carrying a big handbag is just too much work so what do you do? Say hi to the solution, called a Crossbody bag, satchel, a mini bag or a hanging purse, in all honesty it has many names because it’s so cool! These bags have been in fashion for so many years. You can read of the history of crossbody bags here. Zedi has 3 very beautiful African print types and if you are wondering why you should get one here are some mind blowing reasons!

They are beautiful and durable

Our African print crossbody bags  are the definition of cool. They are durable enough to not worry about the handle tearing and having all your contents falling to the floor; phones, tampons and all, yikes! They are also spacious enough to carry a money purse, phones and even a tablet. Oh there will also be room for your makeup. We made these Afro crossbody bags with beautiful African print fabric and PU leather so they can easily be cleaned when they get dirty. All that you need in a bag right? They also come with adorable yellow smiley coin pouches absolutely free!

They are super utilitarian bags

We didn’t just make these African print bags beautiful, spacious and durable oh. Being the practical designers that we are we considered utility as well. We put a zip in the front so you can keep extra stuff there like emergency cash and keys. Clearly this is important isn’t it? So now whenever you go out you can feel free and empty your purse but still have enough money to get you home or buy you a snack 🤣.

They have removable straps

Did we add that the straps of these super adorable African print crossbody bags are removable? You guessed it, they absolutely are! You can easily unhook the straps and slips the pouches into your handbag or travel bag. The space in the front zipper is big enough to keep the straps so you don’t lose them. How cool is that?!

Shop for a Zedi African print crossbody bag with the link below and you won’t regret it. Thinking of a present for a lady? This is definitely the one! There are so many things to love about this when it comes to giving it out as a gift but the best of all is the yellow smiley zipper coin couch attached to these bags. Any of our bags will truly put a smile on her face 😊

http://www.zedighana.com/shop/