A large part of what makes Slay Clothing a unique and thoughtful fashion line is our respect and love for the various African prints used in designing our clothing and accessories. As a company based out of America but with roots in Nigeria, it is important to us that our customers and Slay royals have access to knowledge about African prints.
Below are descriptions of some of the prints found in most of our designs. We talk about each fabric’s origin, how it has evolved over time, and how we adapt these into Slay’s western designs. Additionally, we noted websites with accurate information at the bottom of the page for your own exploration as well as reference for our compilation. Enjoy!
Ankara (AN-car-uh) is a highly popular fabric used to make clothing in Africa, particularly West Africa. What makes this print unique from others is its use of the batik process. In the batik process wax is spread over the cotton cloth so that the actual cloth can resist the dye. As a result, many layers of color and designs can be printed. Additionally, this allows for all the colors used on the front and back to maintain the same brightness – unlike some manufactured prints that have weaker color vibrancy on the backside.
Ankara fabrics were originally used for celebratory purposes in West Africa. However, as time progressed and West African cultures were spread, Ankara is easily found in daily fashions throughout the world.
The wax prints are part of a nonverbal way of communication among African women, therefore they carry their message out into the world. Some wax prints are named after personalities, cities, buildings, sayings or occasions. The producer, name of the product, and registration number of the design is printed on the selvage, protecting the design and allowing the consumer to recognize the quality of the fabric.
Ankara designs, sometimes known as wax prints, are cementing their influence on the international world of fashion and lifestyle. They are Slay Clothing’s source of inspiration for our different styles and designs.
The dashiki is a colorful print worn primarily by West African men and women but in the modern world of fashion the fabric and design are enjoyed worldwide.
The name dashiki is derived from the Hausa word dan ciki, which means "Under Garment."
The Dashiki also goes by the name ‘Angelina’ in Ghana and Congo. It was given its name after a Ghanaian high-life group released a popular song titled “Angelina” which displayed the cloth. It was originally worn by the Northerners of Ghana for traditional functions, but over time it became a part of the Ghanaian culture as a whole.
The DASHIKI COLORS
The Dashiki is particularly unique among the prints because each meaning is different when the dye/color is changed. For example, grey dashikis are worn in traditional West African weddings while purple and lavender dashikis are worn as symbols of African royalty. Additionally, blue dashikis represent the color of love, peace, and harmony.
These incredible qualities are what makes the dashiki a special choice for our designs at Slay Clothing. We hope to make each individual feel as special as the dashiki is to us.