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10 Popular African Textiles and Fabrics

Carri Wilbanks | AFK INSIDER   in 
August 11, 2014

No South African textile tells a better story than the Shweshwe. Ironically, but not surprisingly, this distinctly-African fabric originates in Europe.

Indigo cotton fabric has its origins in East Asia. It was the Europeans who figured out how to print patterns on the fabric though. In the 1860s, a German invented a synthetic type of indigo. The fabric then became very popular in Europe because the blue indigo dye didn’t need to be sourced from Asia.


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