Kente Cloth is the hallmark fabric of Ghana, W. Africa. It's use throughout Ashanti culture and history (one the major Ghanaian tribes) is world renowned. From the exclusive use by royal families and statesmen ... to its use during special events such as weddings and funerals, the various patterns and colors of kente played a significant role in daily tribal life.
In today's modern society, the role of kente cloth is equally as significant and respected. The practice of crafting yards of authentic fabric remain nearly unchanged, as it is made today in almost exactly the same process as was seen hundreds of years ago. One main difference is the presence of what is now called "kente print." Kente print differs from traditional kente cloth in 3 key ways:
1) The kente print is much lighter, where as yards of traditional kente cloth has a bit of heft to it.
2) Kente cloth is made traditionally, on a loom by artisans ... where as kente print is often made in factories that duplicate the traditional design.
3) The price point for authentic kente cloth is much higher than regular kente print. While it's wonderful to have true kente cloth (and I personally advocate for shopping authentic when possible), some find kente print to be more financially accessible. Traditional kente cloth can cost hundreds of dollars per yard.
To honor my royal Ashanti tribal roots, my dad is an Ashanti chief, I often like to pay homage from time to time, by wearing and designing with kente patterns. Here, I'm wearing a classic kente print dress. While kente is an older global fabric, there are so many ways to add a modern feel.
To learn more about traditional kente cloth, click on the following video!