The Fabrics

Want some context on the fabrics we use and the way they are made? See below for a video to explain the design and processing of fabrics, the names, and the styles we use.

GTP Fabrics: The Design and Processing of Fabrics in Ghana

Where do the names come from?

Some of Regina's Blackstar designs are named after the days of the week in Ghana.  Males and females born in Ghana are named after the day in which they were born.  For example, if someone is name Adwoa, this means that particular person was born on a Monday.  An individual named Kofi was born on a Friday in Ghanaian tradition.  

What are the different types of cloths?

Each of Regina’s Blackstar's fabrics is distinctive and hand-made in Ghana and has a rich cultural meaning associated with them.  There are four types of African fabrics: weave, tie and dye, batik and industrial print.

Mud Cloth, Asoke, Kuba, Kente and Country cloths are all examples of woven cloth.

Mud Cloth is a traditional cloth from Mali. With rich blacks, browns, and whites, sections of this cloth are composed of individual motifs such as “fish bones”, “little stars”, or “hunters."   Each piece of Mud Cloth tells its own unique story.

Asoke Cloth is a traditional cloth of the Yoruba tribe.  Asoke has three main designs: Etu, a dark blue indigo dyed cloth;  Sanyan, a brown cloth woven from the beige silk of the Anaphe moth; and Alaari, woven from Southern European silk obtained from the Sahara via Tripoli.

Kente, probably the best known of the woven cloths, was worn by political authorities and high-ranking officials of the Ashanti people. A colorful fabric of golds, yellows, reds, blacks, greens, and blues, each intricately designed piece of fabric conveys messages about historical and cultural landmarks, philosophical concepts, political thoughts, or religious and moral values of society.

Batiks are cotton fabrics with designs painted on them using a wax technique. And industrial prints are cloths manufactured in Europe. Batiks and wax prints are more commonly used today in the creation of African clothing. Africans use them not just for everyday wear, but also for creating clothes for special ceremonies and events.  "Tye and Dye" cloths are also well-known.

What do the colors mean?

The colors used in the fabrics of African people possess important meanings. These meanings vary from people to people (tribe to tribe) or even, fabric to fabric.   

For example, the Akan people in West Africa typically use dark colors such as red, black, and brown for funerals; while the Akon people use white for joyous occasions, such as (birth) naming ceremonies. 

The Kente cloth of the Ashanti people of Ghana, with its prominent use of gold, represents status and serenity. Yellow represents fertility (like the ripeness of an egg yolk or of a fruit) and vitality. Green signifies the renewal and growth seen in plants and represents the cycle of birth and decay. Blue represents the presence of God and the omnipotence of the blue sky. Blue also refers to a pure spirit, one which rests in harmony. Red connotes passion, the passion of political determination, struggle, and defense. Ashanti people also believe that red holds protective powers. Finally the color black denotes seriousness and a union with ancestors and it represents spiritual awareness.