Is all African fabric wax printed cotton?

The short answer is no and is perhaps worth remembering.  Whilst the term 'African wax print' refers more specifically to West Africa, the term perhaps unintentionally gives the impression that all African fabric is wax print, when it is not. Prior to the industrial age, (traditional) fabric / cloth across the African continent was, and still is, incredibly varied: there is indigo-dyed cloth from Senegal, Adinkra and Kente cloth from Ghana, Adire cloth and Asoke fabric from Nigeria, Kitenge from Tanzania and, of course, not forgetting Shwe Shwe from South Africa.  Many of these fabrics are hand woven or hand-dyed and, therefore, are not wax printed at all.  

 


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