The African print remains trendy, especially in the summer when the shops begin to be full of clothing articles that are rich in color. Maybe you have asked yourself why this print has become so popular lately, but the answer you will find by simply looking at it, as the pattern is unique in style and will brighten anyone’s low mood and energy. Plus, as the print bears elements representative of the African continent, you will feel a vibrancy and a bold attitude whenever wearing it, as those countries are known as symbols of liveliness and richness.

So, without further ado, let’s look into what you need to know about the African print.

All You Need To Know About The African Print - ukara-ekpe, models, kente, isu agu, fashion, ankara, african fabric, africam print

The history of the print

Maybe you’ll be surprised to find out that the African print doesn’t originate from Africa but from Indonesia, starting with the batik fabric production. If you’re unfamiliar with this term, batik is a technique that uses colored dyes to make different patterns on fabrics. When the Dutch colonized Indonesia around the 1850s, they discovered they could trade clothing articles by producing large quantities of batik fabrics for Indonesians. Unfortunately, the print wasn’t very liked by the population, as they were used to wearing their handmade high-quality clothing, thus unimpressed by the graphic elements of these pieces. But, what Indonesians considered uninteresting became a fashion statement for the African communities, which discovered the prints with the returning home of the soldiers from the Indonesian areas. At that time, Africa began producing African prints, representing one of the culture’s most known and loved elements.

The print models

African prints are known for having many patterns and models, depending on the country they were made or what elements are essential for different communities. But a common thing for the African fabric is that it is made of 100% cotton and is rich in bright colors and bold designs. Here are the most popular types of prints that have spread worldwide.


Kente is a fabric with the reputation of being the National Fabric of Ghana, and it is an integral part of the country’s culture. Kente print is recognizable for the bright colors, boldness in the geometrical shapes, plenty of patterns and dazzling designs. Because of its importance, the fabric is worn especially at important events, such as holy days, weddings or ceremonies, and what is so special about the Kente print is that it has a high quality that bears the culture and history of the region. Plus, this type of article is eco-friendly and has a high value, and the ones who wear it know this fact and are very proud to show their heritage and love for their country. And precisely because of its value, complexity of production and durability, the kente cloth is a special fabric that needs to be treasured by its owner. The legend in Ghana tells that this fabric was inspired by the complex web created by a spider, which can be a good comparison as Kente is hard to produce but has a stunning look.


Also known as Holland wax and Dutch or African wax print, the Ankara fabric is lightweight and breathable and comes in very bright colors. The pattern is highly recognized worldwide, and many people from other continents have embraced the print in modern and casual outfits that you will see everywhere, especially in summer. It can be used either in accessories or clothing articles, and you can always enhance your look with an African print dress, an eye-catching T-shirt or a stunning skirt. As you can see, there are plenty of ideas you can wear, and if you need inspiration, you can check AfricanFabs, as the site is known for providing high quality African fabrics in all the prints you want.


Ukara-ekpe is a traditional fabric from Nigeria, and a symbol of reverence, as it was only worn by older women and noblemen in essential ceremonies. Even if the ukara-ekpe textile was created as a wrapper, now the print is found in several types of clothing and continues to maintain its relevance and adapt to new trends. You will find it in various colors like red, blue, and green, and patterns with birds, moons, harvests, or vector illustrations.

Isi Agu

Translated by lion head in English, the Isi Agu print is a traditional element you will find in eastern Nigeria, and as you might have already guessed, the most present motif in this print is the lion. Although it was worn only by men in the past, women can also dress in Isi Agu if they want to, especially at essential events, like childbirth and weddings, to have the cultural heritage always by their side. The clothing article usually includes a long or short-sleeved shirt with matching trousers or pants.

How to wear African prints?

African prints are great to wear during summer, as they brighten your look while giving a chic and modern vibe. They will offer you the possibility to have a colorful outfit perfect for embracing at any time and in several events. For example, you can pair a maxi skirt or trousers with an off-shoulder top, and you are ready to start your day with the most simple but sophisticated outfit. But if you don’t want to think about matching clothing articles, you can always opt for a summerish, breezy dress paired with some nice heels. Optionally, if you would like to add just a simple touch of African patterns to your outfit, you can hear head wraps, as they are perfect for those days when the hair doesn’t want to cope with you; plus, they will give a chic look.

We hope we have offered you interesting information and that you will want to embrace the African print this summer.