Wednesday, December 22, 2010


There are lots and lots of beautiful and gorgeous style made with ankara fabrics. Take a look at few of them.


Culture is a dynamic phenomenon which could experience radical changes that may gradually
lead to serious damages. It may become weak or lose its validity as a result of internal social
change, which could be due to overshadowing outside influences (Ogunbameru, 2000; 560). One
of the effects of such changes or influences is the gradual extinction of some aspect of our
traditional arts and crafts. The tradition of
among the Yoruba of southwestern Nigeria is thus an example of such changes and influences
via the introduction of Western values, and internal social-cultural changes. This paper therefore
traces the evolution of traditional
southwestern Nigeria, reveals the factors that are responsible for its declining patronage;
suggests a revival of its traditional uses, and advocates for an alternative usage of
Aso-Oke (Yoruba hand-woven textiles) for clothingaso-oke production and its uses among the Yoruba ofAso-Oke.
The production of traditional handcrafted textiles among the people of Africa is long rooted in
their culture. These textiles are produced from locally sourced materials ranging from cotton,
local silk, bark, goats wool to raffia, commonly used in weaving (Renne,1995;102).While felted
backcloth acclaimed to be the oldest form of indigenous African cloth, woven cotton fabrics
dating to the eight century have also been found in burials in Niger (Clarke 1998;18), and
fragments of plain patterned strip woven cloth dated to the eleventh century were also discovered
at the Tellem burial cave in the Dogon region of Mali. Thus, both provide evidence of a long
standing clothing tradition in Africa (Bolland 1992; 13). Although the origin of textiles
productions and usage in Nigeria, most especially among the Yoruba remain unknown, there are
evidences of Yoruba’s long use of textile as apparel as reflected in ancient sculptures, which has
been dated back to the 10
W. Fagg (1977; 29-39), mentions that these sculptures depict the use of accoutrements which
include loin cloth, cap, sashes badge, hats and others He, also suggests that materials used for the
manufacture of these clothing are derived locally because, they resemble today’s traditional
Yoruba hand woven strip cloth ‘A
Krigger (1990; 39) brought more confusion when he claim that the earliest use of textiles made
from men’s loom among the Yoruba came via the introduction of Islam to Kano through Nupe,
and later to Yoruba land in the 15
th and 12th century’. While relative dating of the local production of Aso-among the Yoruba remain difficult due to its ephemeral nature, the association theory ofth century.

The Journal of Pan African Studies
However, the diffusion theory used by Krigger to establish the evolution of weaving among the
Yoruba is tenable considering Picton’s comments in Ademuleya (2002; 35) that “the
distinctiveness of the West African narrow strip loom (Yoruba inclusive) is a pointer to an
independent tradition.” He thus cautions’ against the popular speculations that there must have
been only one point of origin or source of inspiration; it could therefore be argued that the
Yoruba production of textiles,
before contact. Furthermore, since the radio carbon dates confirms earlier existence of these
sculptural pieces to between 10
Islam or contact with the Nupe people in the 15
of textiles as apparel or as clothing is an age-long tradition which predates contact with Islam.
Aso-Oke in particular could have been developed by the Yorubath and 12th century date which was prior to the introduction ofth century, one can conclude that the Yoruba use
Weaving Tools
Yoruba traditional weavers according to chief Onakanmi of the Fedegbo compound in
Ogbomoso use two types of loom for the production of their traditional hand-woven textiles
is a fixed vertical frame upon which the warp is held under tension used to weave cloth of a
predetermined length with about 30 to 90 cm width to allow two or three pieces stitched together
to make a wraparound “
18) refers to as
Second, the double heddle loom (used by men) is an horizontal loom with the unwoven warp
yarns stretched out several yards in front of the weaver with a heavy shed to maintain tension
(see plate 3 below). The loom produce strips of woven fabrics which is about 14-15cm wide; the
fabrics are cut and edge stitched together to make larger piece of cloth which could be used for
clothing or coverings. The men’s horizontal loom compared to the women vertical loom uses
more accessories and provides opportunity for the use of a variety of warp threads which often
determines the types of design found on
include: heddles (
warp threads and the means for introducing the weft thread.
. First, the upright single heddle loom, also known as the broad loom (used by women)iro” for women. The fabric produce on this loom is what Aremu (1980;kijipa (see plate 2 below)Aso-Oke. Ojo (2006;105), identifies these accessories toomu aso), treadles’ (itese), beater (Apasa), shuttle (oko), winding shaftgogowu/ikawu), shedding stick (oju/poporo), and pulley (ikeke) to describe for the varieties of
Aso-Oke Types
Basically, there are three major
which is achievable with the use of extra weft brocading technique which are identifiable by
their patterns and colour to inform their uses at a designated traditional ceremony.
having pattern weave structure, a type of traditional
warp direction with a light blue checkerboard with a pattern weave structure. The strips are
woven using local wild silk fiber, thus
which is brought out at intervals for drying and stretching. In the ancient times,
important social dress by chiefs and elders among the Yoruba (see plate 9 below).
Aso-Oke types; etu, alaari and sanyan with many variations,Etu (fowl), via blue and white stripes in the warp direction with a light blue checkerboardAso-Oke with blue and white stripes in theEtu is dyed repeatedly in traditional indigo blue dye,Etu was used as
The Journal of Pan African Studies
Second, we have
yarns dyed in red cam wood solution severally to achieve permanence in colour fastness. The use
Yoruba of Nigeria (see plate 5 & 6 below). And third,
fabric, grayish in colour with white strip running through the middle of the cloth; traditionally
produced from fibers made from the cocoons of the
hand spun into silk threads, washed and soaked in corn-starch to strengthen the yarn for fabric
production in the ancient times. In addition,
Yoruba woven fabrics, thus, the Yoruba refer to it as
& 8 below).
, vol.3, no.3, September 2009Alaari, crimson in colour, it is traditionally woven with locally spurned silkalaari is not limited to a particular ceremony but traditionally used for all events among theSanyan, an expensive Yoruba hand-wovenanaphe silk warm. Hence, the silk fibers aresanyan is regarded as the most expensive of allbaba-aso, the ‘father of fabrics' (see plate 7
, vol.3, no.3, September 2009

Sunday, December 19, 2010


DREM fabrics and accessories specialize in retail and wholesale of all types of African fabrics and accessories which includes and not limited to all types of laces, ankara, brocades, wax print, headties, aso-oke, damask, ready made African outfit, African fashion jewelries, shoes and matching bag set, handbags, aso-ebi and so on.

We design and produce exclusive traditional hand woven textiles known as Aso-Oke. Our aso-oke's are exclusive and elegant designs which are very unique . Our business focus is to provide textiles for various special occasions (weddings, naming ceremonies, birthdays, chieftaincy ceremonies, burials etc).
Aso Oke is a traditional African fabric, sometimes made from woven strips that are carefully sewn together, somewhat like a quilt, before being cut to make the garment.  The traditional Yoruba women's aso oke outfit consists of four parts: the buba (a blouse like shirt), a wrap skirt, the head tie, and a shawl or shoulder sash.  Aso oke come in many styles though, and some these days choose not to cut it up for garments at all, and instead, wear it as a drape, somewhat like the sari.
Aso Oke is often printed with symbols called Adinkra.  These are symbols that have meanings which are understood by Africans of many regions, regardless of which language they speak.
The meaning depends on how the symbols are arranged.  There is very little authentic Aso Oke sold in the western world.  It is usually woven by men using a double heddle loom.