For the Love of Kente Cloth

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I LOVE Kente cloth!!! I have discussed my love/obsession for African beads and now I am moving onto Kente cloth. I would like to say that I have appreciated this unique and amazing cloth from the time this picture {above} was taken but that would be false..lol I think I was about 3 or 4 years old in this picture. I did not appreciate Kente cloth and all its richness until 2008ย  at the tender age of 20. My best friend‘s oldest sister got married and all the bridesmaids were in Kente cloth.

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That’s my BEST FRIEND & her oldest sister is the lovely bride in the middle. After this wedding, I immediately became obsessed with Kente cloth. I began to Google images of women wearing Kente cloth dresses. I would then printout the pictures and tape them onto my wall..lol True story!! Below is a short but very informative video about Kente cloth ๐Ÿ™‚

As you can see from this video above, it is a tedious process. However, the end result is BEAUTIFUL. I own about two pieces of woven Kente cloth. One piece is just enough to makeย  a cute top or a cute skirt. The other woven piece is too small and is more like a shawl. My aunt gave that to me when I visited her at the market that she sells cloth at. The woven Kente cloth is NOT cheap. In order to get a woven Kente cloth that is big enough to make an entire outfit, it costs about $300-$500 { if not more}.ย  My mom owns many beautiful woven Kente cloths. Check her out below, I love my mommy. She is my beautiful Kente QUEEN <3…lol

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In this picture, my mommy is wearing a woven Kente cloth. Mines is not woven but instead the print of a Kente cloth pattern. Can you tell the difference? It is much cheaper and lighter than the woven Kente cloth. Woven Kente cloth is thicker and heavily threaded. My mom bought my printed cloth from the market for about $20.00-$25.00 for six yards.

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I LOVE her black and white one <3

So as you can see my mom is a veteran in the game. She has much more Kente cloth than that which I have posted.

Below is a printed Kente cloth my mom brought for me when she visited MD last spring {she lives in Ghana}. I think it’s funky and it would make for some cute pants or a cute dress. It is six yards so the possibilities are endless…lol

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Below is my woven Kente cloth.

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She brought this too! I think it’s about 3 or 4 yards, only enough make a top or skirt. It’s just sitting here..lol My mom always tells me to sew outfits in Ghana because the seamstresses in MD are too expensive. She also thinks the seamstresses in Ghana are better than the Ghanaian seamstresses in MD. I have about two Kente cloth {print} outfits. I should have more. Before I appreciated Kente cloth, I had a really cute printed one but I sold it to a co-worker for about $50.00 back in college. I needed some quick cash and I thought it looked too much like my print above. Even though a lot of Kente cloths have the same patterns and colors, they’re sometimes slight differences. I regret selling that cloth now, it was definitely different from the printed one I’m wearing in the picture with my mother. Hopefully, when I go to Ghana this winter {God-willing}, I can stock up on so more Kente cloth prints. I like the woven kind but I am not ready to pay for that. I think of that as marriage material cloth. A lot of Ghanaian women wear that for their traditional weddings. It’s an adult cloth to me, I am an adult for sure {26 to be exact} but I look at the woven kind for very special occasions {if that makes sense}. It’s also gifted to Ghanaian brides to be from the fiance and his family. It is a big deal and it’s Ghana’s national cloth! I love when the men wear it and wrap it around their bodies likeย  a Greek toga as in the pictures below.

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Photo Source: A King in Ghana

Actress MaameYaa Boafo Photo Credit:Studio Eveliz

Actress MaameYaa Boafo
Photo Credit:Studio Eveliz

Kente cloth can be used as a head wrap or hair tie.

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Photo Credit: Montage Images

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Photo Credit: Trevor Stuurman

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Photo Credit: Damion Reid

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Photo Credit: Accradotalt

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Kente cloth is for our FUTURE <3

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Photo Credit: JayLA Photography

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Kente cloth is CLASSIC

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Ghana’s FIRST lady Fathia Nkrumah pictured with her only son Samia. There is actually a Kente cloth named after her, it’s pictured below.

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Fathia Fata Nkrumah (Fa-THEA fah-TA n-KROH-mah)
The translation for the name of this pattern is “Fathia is a befitting wife for Nkrumah.” Fathia was a charming Egyptian woman who married Nkrumah, the first president of the Republic of Ghana. Their marriage was considered special because it represented the unity of African peoples on the continent . –Ghana Review

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Photo Credit: James Barnor

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Kente cloth is ROYAL and fit for Chiefs, Kings and Queen Mothers.

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The late and great Nelson Mandela wrapped in Kente cloth standing next to King Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.

Side Note: Nelson Mandela’s Kente pattern looks like the Fathia Fata Nkrumah pattern posted above.

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Photo Credit: Susan Carlslund

Photo Credit: Bruno Zanzottera

Photo Credit: Bruno Zanzottera

Photo Credit: Anthony Pappone

Photo Credit: Anthony Pappone

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KING PEGGY, Ghana’s first female king.

Kente cloth is MAINSTREAM

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The late and great “King of Pop” Michael Jackson getting adorned with Kente cloth in Abidjan, Ivory Coast circa 1992.

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Photo Credit: John Exley

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Photo Credit: Adrien Sauvage

NBA star, Dwayne Wade wearing a Kente double-breasted tuxedo by British Ghanaian fashion designer Adrien Sauvage.

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Photo Credit: Adrien Sauvage

Rapper Yasiin Bey {Mos Def} wearing Dr. Martens Silk Kente Steed Shoes by British Ghanaian fashion designer Adrien Sauvage.

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Photo Source: Halle Berry Fan

Actress Halle Berry wearing Kente cloth.

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Photo Credit: Win McNamee/Reuters

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton (center) and his wife Hillary Rodham Clinton wearing Kente cloth on their 1998 visit to Ghana. They are standing by Ghana’s former president Jerry Rawlings (L) at Accra’s Independence Square.

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Photo Credit: Seth Berkley

“Chief” Bill Gates honored with Kente cloth in Ghana last March for his contributions to Immunization.

Kente cloth is ART!

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SBW Oprah Winfrey-Chidinma Dureke Mix Media 2013

One Drop-Chidinma Dureke Mix Media 2012

One Drop-Chidinma Dureke Mix Media 2012

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Paintings by artist Chidinma Dureke {pictured above}

Kente cloth is MODERN.

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Pants by Bombe Surprise

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Top by Kokomina

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Hat by Menogu Designs

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Shoes by Ohema Ohene

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Ngozi Opara, Founder of Heat-Free Hair Movement and Owner of N-ZO Hair Studios

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YEVU Clothing

Kente cloth is HIP HOP!

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Photo Credit: BET

The late and great “Overweight Lova” Heavy {Diddlee Diddlee} D

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Photo Source: Cream Jewelry Best

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Photo Credit: Janette Beckman

Rap group Salt N’ Peppa {peep their hats}

Kente cloth is for LOVERS <3

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Photo Credit: Rhphotoarts

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Photo Credit: Capture Your Memory Bank

Kente cloth is for TRADITIONAL BRIDES.

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Photo Credit: Lightville Photography

Kente cloth is for bridesmaids ANDย groomsmen

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The groomsmen are really giving me Coming to America and I like it!

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Photo Credit: Afrodisiac Photography

I’ve never seen bridesmaids wear head-wraps but I like that too.

Kente cloth is for PAGEANT QUEENS.

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Photo Source: Jamati

Miss Universe Ghana 2004 Menaye Donkor

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Photo Credit: Lightville Photography

Miss Ghana USA 2013 Lisa Aidoo

Kente cloth is for SCHOLARS.

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Photo Credit: Julie Yarbrough for Spelman College

Oprah Winfrey & Spelman Student Leaders

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Photo Credit: Mandel Ngan

Men of Moorehouse College attend the 2013ย  graduation ceremony.

Side note: I had a cute stole for my high school graduation just like the ones pictured above . It read “Class of 2005”. My BFF gave it to me as a Christmas present. Unfortunately, I forgot to wear it on my graduation day ๐Ÿ™

ulie Yarbrough for Spelman College
ulie Yarbrough for Spelman College
ulie Yarbrough for Spelman College

Kente cloth is for BARBIES.

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Side note: I used to have a Barbie doll dressed in Kente cloth from head to toe. She had a head wrap, top, skirt, and even a piece of Kente cloth in her hand. She was beautiful. My mom kept her in the original box unopened for years and she would not let me open it. She was scared I would mess her hair up and lose her clothes. That is exactly what happened once I was finally allowed to open the box and play with herย  ๐Ÿ™

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Kente cloth is for ME <3

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Kente cloth is Ghana PRIDE!

Kente cloth is for everyone and all occasions!

Here are some history and facts about the Kente cloth.

Last but not least, below is a beautiful poem about Kente cloth written byย  Metty Markwei

On Kente Weavingย โ€ฆ

Threading knots of the past

Looming the yarn of tradition and aspiration

The miscellany of colors โ€“

Different, yet one,

The intricacy of the pattern

We have always known, never seen.

As kids we saw

Grandma wear it in elegance

And Papa wrap it with grace

And they told us

โ€œThe thread-maker has always been God

He gives us the yarn

The different threads of life

The intricacy of the pattern,

We have always known, never seenโ€

Kente has always been

Ours.

Kente is

Always beautiful.

Kente will always be

Legendary Gold.

~Metty Markwei

ยฉ PoeTori Inc. 2012

Copyright. All rights reserved.

What do you think of Kente cloth? Have you ever worn it? Do you own some {printed or woven} ? Please share below.

Thanks for stopping by!! ๐Ÿ™‚

~Amma Mama

23 Comments
  • Aaya
    February 2, 2014

    Lovely post! Kente cloth is truly majestic full of a rich history, culture and style ๐Ÿ™‚

    • ammamama
      February 3, 2014

      Thanks Bopz!
      And yes it is ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Klassy Kinks
    February 3, 2014

    Loved this post! Had no idea about the difference between woven and printed

    • ammamama
      February 4, 2014

      From a distance, its sometimes hard to distinguish between the two of them.
      I am glad you loved the post, thanks for reading ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Nomzi Kumalo
    February 6, 2014

    What a wonderful post. Thank you for the inspiration. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Melissa
    February 7, 2014

    This is beautiful! I always wanted to get a skirt made or shorts for the summer. Are there any websites that you recommend? I also live in northern VA and wouldn’t mind traveling to MD for a custom made skirt. I love your blog!

    • ammamama
      February 7, 2014

      Hey Melissa! I can recommend @bernandoll on Instagram. Her creations are absolutely beautiful and I think she’s based in VA {or MD}. She doesn’t have a website but she posts a lot of her work on Instagram {@bernandoll}. She also has her business number and email address on there. And thank you for stopping by, I am glad you love the blog ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Sheila Exodus
    February 10, 2014

    wow. great post. Very educating and inspiring. they are truly beautiful <3

  • Whelmina Weekes
    March 25, 2014

    I enjoyed the travel through the history of Kente cloth and its many variations. Thank you. This is an engaging blog. Will visit again.

    • ammamama
      March 25, 2014

      I am glad you enjoyed the post. Thank you for the compliment and for checking out my blog. I really do appreciate it:-)

  • Ada-Ari
    May 20, 2014

    Hi Amma, hoe do I contact you via email?

  • Ada-Ari
    May 20, 2014

    Sorry, how

  • katherine foster
    February 18, 2016

    Thank you thank you thank you for all the pictures. I too cant get enough of kente cloth…it really is woven sunshine! I am a curator and love fabric art.
    Love your little barbie too. I recently came across two other african barbies: Nigerian barbie and Maisai Barbie. Both still in original boxes, never opened (thank goodness for mothers).

  • Renate
    July 6, 2016

    Hi,
    I’ve just discovered your post and I really like. It was educating and inspiring!
    Could you please tell me where mum get the black and white kente fabric? It’s so soooo nice. (Sorry for the very late comment ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • ammamama
      July 6, 2016

      Hi,
      I’ll call her and ask, will update you on her response.

      • Renate
        July 6, 2016

        Thanks a lot for replying me! That is really nice. Thx again ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Charlotte
    August 4, 2016

    Just reading this, very interesting, gorgeous and enlightening. I saw where you directed someone to Instagram to obtain info on purchases. However, I am not on Instagram and would like to find AUTHENTIC Kente clothing.

    Can you recommend an online shop or one in the Atlanta area?

  • Brenda
    January 31, 2017

    I love Kente cloth. The colors are so bright and majestic.Could you tell me where I can purchase some woven Kente cloth.

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