Africa is a vast continent with 53 countries and a wide variety of landscapes, from savanna and deserts to mountains. Consequently, there are many different styles of clothing, ranging from the simple “kanga” of East Africa to the long and draped “babariga” for men in West Africa, whose sleeves must be constantly rolled up because they are long. Most of the clothes in Africa are made of cotton, since it is the freshest fabric. Africans, particularly in the east and west, love bright colors and their designs are recognizable by area and country. Making this dress yourself is an opportunity to set trends.
Choose your style Study the different clothes from east, west and north of Africa and decide what type of equipment attracts you the most. You can opt for a 2 yard (1.80 meter) seamless tunic used extensively on the mainland, or an elaborate hand-sewn “jilaba” that women in North Africa wear over their clothes when they go out in public.
Choose the fabric. Cotton is the most versatile material available in Africa and the brightly colored material is usually made locally. If you want expensive equipment for a wedding or other ceremony, buy lace from Holland, as it is the most expensive fabric, particularly in East Africa.
Be traditional Genuine leopard skin can be hard to come by, but you can solve it with a similar sized piece of cloth and dress like a Zulu chief. This equipment does not require seams, as it wraps around the waist and gets inside.
It sews a simple Egyptian tunic. Think of a long shirt and make a similar mold. This two-piece outfit requires measurements from the shoulders to just below the knee, and should only be sewn at the top, from the shoulders to the neck, and from under the arms to the hem.
Take a piece of 2 yards (1.80 meters) of brightly colored fabric that is 45 inches (1.10 meters) wide, wrap it around your waist and you have a skirt. Use it right on the bust, put the edges inside and you have a dress to use at home.
Take a piece of indigo blue fabric at least 3 yards (2.70 meters) long. Wrap it in your head and you have a turban like the ones the Fulani wear in the Sahara.
- Add decorative touches. Africans enhance their attire with beads, feathers and decorations of beaten metal.
You will need to
- Measuring tape
- Needle and thread
- Sewing machine