Aso-oke fabric is a hand loomed cloth woven by the Yoruba people of western Nigeria. It is the traditional cloth of the Yorubas and it is usually worn by both sexes. The fabric is mainly made from cotton fibres and the processes involved are quite tasking.
The name Aso-Oke is a short form of Aso Ilu Oke which when translated into English means “clothes from the up-country”. Aso-oke is predominantly produced by the Yorubas residing in Oyo, Osun and Kogi; all South-Western states in Nigeria.
Its weaving process reminds us of the Ghanian Kente cloth and like the Kente, Aso-Oke is only woven by men.
Nigerians around the world wear the Aso-Oke fabric for special occasions including holidays, weddings, funerals and chieftain title ceremonies. The men wear this fabric as an Agbada with a matching cap called, Fila while the women make a top and wrapper known as Iro and Buba with a matching Gele.
With modernization, the fabric can now be made from silk. Its design can also be customised and made in different colors.
Many creatives have chosen to take this fabric to yet another level by using it in the making of fashion accessories such as bags, purses, and footwear for casual and less traditional occasions.
Here’s a video that briefly describes the process;
We hope you enjoyed learning about the uniquely designed, Aso-Oke fabric.
We’ll be bringing you more information on other African textiles in subsequent posts.
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Video Credit – YouTube