From the vertical loom to the printing table and unto the body: Transferring woven designs of the Akwete-Igbo on cloth as prints for contemporary fashion

  • Chika Chudi-Duru


Most African cultures have certain fabrics attributed to them. Some are hand woven, printed or painted. Most are produced manually. Most of these indigenous fabrics especially the hand woven pieces are quite heavy and due to the climate of the tropics where they are produced, they are used for special occasions only, they are not often utilized to construct some fashionable clothing to suit the weather. Thus it has become imperative to produce some printed versions which bear the same information as the woven pieces. The printed versions can be mass produced in the industries to reach a good number of people more than the woven pieces which consume much time, money and energy. In this study, some woven design symbols of Akwete fabrics were transferred to cotton fabrics to enable it register its name in the ever competing world of printed textiles, where newer designs evolve every day to replace the older ones and thereafter used in contemporary fashion. In the absence of a woven piece, a printed piece could also serve because it is still communicating the same message. This is a mixed method research, which comprises of qualitative and quantitative (statistical tools). Therefore, this study utilized the descriptive survey and studio exploration as the research designs. It employed the use of questionnaire and focus group discussion to collect some data because the weaving tradition and their products were investigated. Also photography and observations were the instruments used in collecting some data. One among the findings is that Akwete woven designs produced appropriate prints when transferred on to fabrics as prints. It recommends that some further researches should be carried out on other indigenous fabric designs for it to remain the best choice for constructing indigenous fashionable apparels.


Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 2346-7126