Senegalese weavers turn Dakar into fashion hub

Using woven loincloths, Senegalese stylists and designers have made Dakar a hub of African fashion

Senegalese weavers turn Dakar into fashion hub

World Bulletin / News Desk

Woven loincloths are being used by Senegalese stylists and designers to embellish many traditional outfits.

The use of woven loincloths in fashion has boosted the activity and popularity of Senegalese weavers. 

"We produce more. We stress on shiny fabrics that are popular with women," Kabanta Mama Nanki, a weaver in Dakar told Anadolu Agency.

"We have customers from all over the country. Senegalese women buy woven loincloths for scarves and outfits," says Nanki, who has been a weaver for over 30 years. "Our income has increased because designers are using more and more woven loincloths in fashion shows." 

Nanki also said they "have a variety of loincloths. Prices range between 11,000 and 25,000 FCA francs (around $22 and $55)."

Weavers from the Colobane neighborhood in Dakar come from the Manjaque ethnic group, a minority group in Senegal and Guinea Bissau.

In the fashion world, some designers do not hesitate to hire weavers. "Some recruit weavers. Others deal directly with those who have their own workshops," Nanki said.

"We sometimes have customers who want loincloths for traditional outfits. When you buy a shiny fabric, it helps to have a nice traditional boubou,” said Mame Lo, a seamstress in Dakar.

Boubous are long, wide robes worn by many men in West Africa.

According to Nanki, they have more customers during winter. "We have more buyers in December and January. When it is cold, women prefer heavy scarves," another weaver, Diez Sa, told Anadolu Agency.

In Senegal, loincloths are not used just for fashion, but also for therapeutic reasons.

"For the Manjaque people, loincloths protect against evil spirits. That is why married women wear them. They are also used for baptisms," Nanki said.

Last Mod: 18 Temmuz 2015, 11:47
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