Archives for the month of: September, 2009

One of the first things I do when I am on a shopping site is run a search on the following words, African, African American, and ethnic, largely for my own amusement, I have been amazed at some of my finds from golliwogs to black mammy figurines and other porno stuff I care not to elaborate on. Occasionally I find some thing that makes me smile, I was having a look at my search finds on and found these head bands which I think are just too cute,  I may be a little long in the tooth to wear one, but they would look great on the right person.

Quote from the page “The Alice band boasts an eye-catching traditional West African cotton print in oranges, purples and pinks. The balls range from 4cm to 6cm in diameter and the headband measures 25mm at its widest point.” ; cost 36 USD.

The designer is London based Australian Jennifer Loiselle

Buy Item Here

red headband

This is my homework, to find the origins of my beloved fabric, so please correct me if I only manage a C+.

To date I have read many interesting debates about the origins of the fabric, some saying it was initially cheap upholstery material thrust upon us Africans, or cheap imitations of Indonesian fabrics, what ever the origins it is widely accepted by Africans as our traditional fabric, yes I agree it is a shame that  Ankara and other fabrics seen and refered to as traditional are often imported, I do recall Nigeria banning imports, but I dont recall any initiatives to encourage home grown industry.

Well one thing is for sure there is no shortage of home grown designers, tailors and seamstresses kept in good business, crafting the designs that are seen in many of the African magazines today.

From an early age I loved Ankara, I wondered why people prefered lace for special occasions, until I discovered that some people often equate expense with good taste, I love lace too but Ankara is the first textile I took note of.

I have read various blogs, seen passionate comments on this subject, noticed that non-African designers have  taken an interest in “ethnic” inspired fabrics.

Back to my history lesson, truth be told I am already bored of this lesson, I would rather find some great designs.