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The African Fabric Shop

Creating with colour, African-style

We've just launched a whole new section on our website called Colours.

We've brought together fabrics and other items from across our website and across Africa into colour themes. Check out:  SunriseRainforestSavannahRiverPure IndigoSunset and Night.

Choosing colours and fabrics could never be easier.


Pick your favourite: a stunning array of our latest Bolga fans

Pick your favourite Bolga fan

Summer's here and the temperature's climbing.

Yup, we just hit a sweltering -  sort of - 22 degrees Celsius here in Yorkshire.

Which means: time to stay cool with one of our latest selection of Bolga fans.

  • Colourful
  • Functional
  • Decorative
  • Comfortable leather-bound handle
  • Handwoven in Bolgatanga, Ghana
  • Each fan is a unique - there is only one

View and buy: our latest Bolga fans


Eric Boateng shows off a classic black and white mud cloth
Right: one of Eric's latest picks - stunning mixed colour mud cloth WMU573 in terracotta, ochre and black

New mud cloths from Mali

  • Handwoven cotton
  • Handpainted using natural pigments

Despite COVID and the precarious security situation in Mali, our well-connected pal Eric Boateng in Accra is still able to get mud cloths out of Mali and into The African Fabric Shop.

Our creative customers use mud cloth for all sorts of things:

  • Decorative wallhangings
  • Distinctive throws or blankets
  • Upholstery applications
  • Curtains
  • Cushion covers
  • Waistcoats and jackets
  • Film and theatrical costuming

Thanks, Eric. As always, you're a star!

View and buy: our latest mud cloths from Mali


Left: weaving traditional Kente cloth © Robert Irwin

Right: Exellent vintage Ewe Kente cloth VCC209 shows classic Ewe motifs and colours

Vintage Kente cloths online now

Kente is probably the most recognisable of Africa's many traditional textiles, adopted by Africans around the world as a symbol of their heritage. Early cloths were woven with imported silk, but since the 1920s Kente weavers have used rayon or rayon mixed with cotton.

There are two traditions:

  • Ashanti Kente from the Ashanti region in central Ghana. Our favourite weaving village is Adanwomase, near Kumasi.
  • Ewe Kente from the region straddling the border between Ghana and Togo.

Our vintage cloths are up to 25 years old, so they've aged gracefully and have a lovely, soft feel.

Old Kente cloths in excellent condition are very rare and expensive, but our smaller pieces are great examples of Kente at an affordable price.

View and buy: vintage Kente cloths


Our display of rare vintage printing blocks from A Brunnschweiler & Co, Manchester

NEW online: vintage printing blocks

Some - but not all - traditional African wax prints were overprinted by hand using heavy wooden printing blocks.

These rare vintage printing blocks date back to the 1980s and were used up until 2007 in the print works of A Brunnschweiler & Co of Manchester - the last English wax print manufacturer.

  • Genuine historic artefacts of Manchester's industrial heritage
  • Great as a decorative item on a wall or bookshelf
  • Or get creative - can be used for printing too!

Go to: Printing Blocks

 
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