African textiles are a part of the history of Africa. Textile production is widespread on the African continent and is one of Africa’s oldest art forms. The patterns in African textiles designs often reflect how people see themselves or their surroundings – historical figures can be seen in the ways, for example, or sometimes animals with human features are portrayed.

Features of the African textiles

Textiles are used in several ways, such as worn on the body or draped over furniture. There are many African textiles, including animal skin (for example, elephant), vegetable fibre (usually corn cobs), palm bark fibre, cowhide leather, and bone shell hair fibre. Below are some of its features.

  1. The plants dye the African textiles. African textiles use the natural dye from particular flowers and plants.
  2. African textiles are made by hand, so they don’t need complicated machines or expensive materials to make them.
  • The materials used for the African textiles are usually light in weight, making it easy for this textile to be portable.
  1. The fabrics may be treated differently according to the needs of different people who buy them.
  2. Not only that, but there are also various designs that people make on the fabric by adding patterns which will look good if they’re done with excellent embroidery artistry.”.
  3. African textiles have different colours, patterns and textures.
  • These textiles have a complex weaving process.
  • There are many types of these textile designs which was invented by different cultures living in Africa.
  1. The African textiles may be compared to other materials from other parts of the world because they are similar in many ways but unique just like Africa”.
  2. The patterns in the fabric are symmetrical.
  3. African Textiles have a variety of colours, shapes and sizes.

Different types of African Textiles

Beaded Boubous

The boubou is the most elegant of all popular African textiles dresses worn by women. “Boba” means “dove,” an emblem on early-colonial drape fabrics from Senegal to Nigeria. It is a general name for long robes.


salometers are among the most beautiful African textiles. Men wear them for weddings, funerals or traditional ceremonies.

Men’s wraps

Among the most common African dress articles, the wrap is a wrap-like garment worn around the waist or shoulders as an alternative to western suits. It may have sleeves and a belt.

Throw blankets

Throw blankets provide India with its distinctive construction style, which is constructed from coarser woven fabric as opposed to cotton saris made of finer cloth and hand-tied at home and then sent to be finished in India.


Women wear a cloak to cover their bodies and heads on cold days. Belts aid in the straightening of the fabric. It may have a hood, shoulder tassels, or be draped.

Beaded wraps/drapes

The name “drapes” comes from the French word for a long narrow cloth used for draping or curtain-making. Drapes come in many shapes and sizes, from simple squares to large circular pieces.