👗About Kitenge Fabric👗

Introduction:

Welcome to Bella’s Collections first blog! We are a women’s clothing store and carry adult and children’s sizes! We have a wide variety of the newest styles clothes! We import all of our clothes and they’re only the best quality! Come on in today and check us out! 

In today’s blog we are going to talk about Kitenge Fabric! It is a West African fabric and we are going to dive right in! Check out all of the puctures and the table of contents below to see everything we cover! 

Table of Contents:

What is Kitenge Fabric?

Kitenge  is an East African, West African and Central African fabric  often worn by women and wrapped around the chest or waist, over the head as a headscarf, or as a baby sling. Kitenges are usually colorful pieces of fabric.

“Most fabric used is sourced from Tanzania and is made in Nigeria, West Africa, where the whole process is highly respected as a craft and a labour-intensive art form.”

There is a festival in Kenya, called the Kitenge festival, it is a popular event held periodically and is meant to highlight the varied uses of Kitenge fabric. Kitenges are usually given as gifts to young women.

Click here to see our Shoes, Bags and More page!

Different uses:

Kitenges can be used on occasions and in many ways either symbolically or for practical reasons.

  1. In Malawi, Kitenges are customary for women at funerals.
  2. The Maasai wears dark red kitenge garments to symbolize their love for and their dependence on the earth.
  3. They are used as a sling to hold a baby across the back of a mother. They can hold the baby at the front as well, particularly when breastfeeding.

    4. They are sometimes tied together and used as decorative pieces at dinner tables.

    5. When women go to the beach, often the Kitenge is wrapped around the bathing suit for modesty or to shield cold air.

    6. Kitenges can be framed or otherwise hung up on the wall as a decorative batik artwork.

    7. Kitenge cloth is also used to make a variety of clothing for women and in recent times men.

Click here to see our Dress page!

BASIC STEPS IN AFRICAN WAX PRINT FABRIC PRODUCTION:

Preparation

Raw cotton yarns are woven into grey cloth that is stiff and dirty. The cloth is then bleached white to clean and remove any impurities before being strengthened and stretched to its desired width.

Design

The prints are designed on a computer using CAD software in black and white form. Traditionally two or three colors are added to the cloth at the end of the production process. Each print design is usually produced in several different colorways.

Wax Printing

The design is engraved onto a pair of copper rollers before being printed onto both sides of the cloth using melted, molten wax. The wax used is a natural product that comes from pine tree resin.

Indigo Dying

The cloth is then put into an indigo dye bath where the exposed parts of the cloth are dyed and the resin covered parts are resisted. This process can also cause naturally formed fine cracks in the wax, which can allow small amounts of the dye to seep through onto the cloth.

Crackling Effect

The wax is then deliberately cracked using specific machinery depending on the desired outcome such as marbling and bubbles.

Coloration

Large, industrial printing machines are used to add solid colors to the design either before and/or after the wax is removed from the cloth. Sometimes part of the design is hand carved onto a wooden block and applied to the fabric by hand (called block printing). This coloration process is key to producing the highly distinctive and vibrant colors of all of our garments from African Dresses to African print trousers.

Washing

The cloth is then washed to remove all the small residues of wax and excess dyes ensuring that color fastness standards are met.

Finishing

There are different types of finishes that are applied to the cloth depending on the desired outcome. The fabric can sometimes look shiny which disappears after the first initial wash. Certain fabrics are more expensive due to the type of finishing used at the end of the manufacturing process, which can be costly.

Due to the nature of the wax printing process it is impossible to make each piece of cloth look exactly the same so they are truly unique. Furthermore because tailors cut the fabric used to make the clothing by hand, the print positioning is different on each item meaning each one is even more one of a kind! 

Click here to see our suit page!

How to soften fabric:

First way:

Add 8 tbsp (120 ml) of salt to 1 quart of cold or lukewarm water. Make sure the fabric is completely covered by the liquid and leave it to soak for two or three days before washing according to instructions. When you do wash it, it’s worth adding some fabric softener just for that extra helping hand.

Second way:

White vinegar (and it must be white – dark vinegar may stain fabrics) naturally softens the fabric. Simply add 8tbsp (120ml) to a load of laundry before the final rinse cycle or put it in the fabric softener dispenser at the beginning of the wash. Make sure to run your garment through on a vinegar-free cycle afterward though: you don’t want to smell like a bag of chips!

Baking soda helps to soften water, which in turn will help to soften fabrics. Depending on the size of your load, add 8tbsp (120ml) to your normal wash cycle.

Third way:

One thing it is important to remember is to stay away from excessive heat. When looking for advice on softening fabrics, more often than not you will be told to ‘put the item in the tumble dryer.’

However, for the majority of African print fabrics, this is not advised. It’s vital that you read the care label on a garment (or check out the manufacturer’s care instructions) to check what is recommended.  

Steaming can also help to soften the fabric but if you decide to employ the iron, again make sure you are following care instructions to the letter: you don’t want to risk spoiling your fabric or garment.

If a garment is a steam iron friendly, it’s a good idea to put paper towels or a tea towel both underneath and on top of the item before starting to iron, just to give the fabric a little more protection from the direct heat and to catch the odd, rare wax remnants. You should also always iron your African prints on the inside.

If a piece of clothing is dry clean only – and steam cleaning is an option to help soften the item – make sure the dry cleaners you use has experience with African print fabrics: you don’t want to end up regretting your decision!

Also remember: whatever method you choose to soften your African print fabrics, or even simply when you wash them, it’s important to lay them flat or hang them up to dry naturally. Wringing or twisting the fabric will only compromise the opulent colors and cause them to fade much faster.

Washing:

When washing the was fabric, the timing is all up to you. It is not like other clothes in the needing to be washed all the time. It has a nice, crisp finish. When you do wash it, make sure to wash with cold water. Warm water will make the colors bleed and fade faster. Air drying is the best, but if you are going to use a dryer, dry on a low-tumble setting. This will keep it from having any heat damage, shrinkage, or more fading and bleeding. 

Conclusion:

Today we went over what kitenge fabric is and all of the creative ways it can be used! We also went over the Basic steps in African Wax Print Fabric Production, and how to wash and soften the fabric! 

Our site is new but make sure to check back weekly, we will always be adding new blogs! Our blogs will cover many things including how to match outfits, where our clothes come from, the history behind it all and many more! 

Fill out the form below for more information!

Stop on in the store today!

👯‍♀️About ladies suits!👯‍♀️

Introduction:

Welcome back to Bella’s collection’s blog! Today we are going to talk about ladies suits! We will talk about both pieces, the jacket and the skirt! We will go over how to match different outfits and what guidelines to stick to! We are also going to go over some major key points that will help you find the suit that fits you perfectly! 

Table of contents:

  • What’s a ladies suits?
  • Ladies suit dress pants
  • Ladies suit skirt
  • How it should fit
  • How to match
  • Conclusion

What’s a ladies suit?

Among many other meanings, a suit is a jacket and pants that match — formal wear for men or woman. Suits are well-suited (appropriate) for some jobs and formal events, like a funeral. A woman’s suit can be made up with dress pants or a skirt.

Ladies dress pants:

The dress pants needs to rest slightly on your shoes. That way they don’t drag on the ground and get ruined.

Ladies suit-skirt:

The skirt usually goes about an inch above your knee. If you go much shorter it becomes a little less appropriate for these events.

How it should fit:

  • Blazers

    A new blazer is a great way to revitalize your look. Pick a style that gives you the flexibility to dress it up or down, and make sure it fits you in all the right places by making a note of these blazer fit tips:

    • Shoulders

      When you slip on a blazer, it should fit comfortably in the shoulders without pulling. It also should not be too roomy in that area. Make sure the seams are centered on your shoulders and the edges don’t extend past your shoulders. Rotate your arms and make sure you have full range of motion.

    • Sides

      Purchase a blazer that fits comfortably at your widest point (stomach, chest, or shoulders). If necessary, have it altered by taking in the waist.

      • Length

      Choose the length of your blazer based on your own personal style preference. Keep in mind that cropped blazers are more flattering on petite women, while longer styles look great on taller women.

      • Sleeves

      The end of your blazer sleeves should reach your wrist bones. But if you will be wearing a shirt with sleeves extending beyond the edge of the jacket, the blazer sleeves should reach slightly above your wrist bones. Make sure your sleeves do not cover your hands, and avoid exposing too much arm.

Dress Pants

No work wardrobe is complete without fashionable and flattering dress pants. These simple tips will help you choose dress pants that both flatter and fit.

• Waist

Make sure you sit down when trying on your dress pants. The waist should fit comfortably. If you fall in between sizes, buy the bigger size and have the pants altered.

• Legs

Just say no to camel toe. Truly, a too-short crotch is the worst dress pants offense. Make sure there is no wrinkling or pulling across the front of your pants. On the flip side, if pants are too loose in the leg, have a tailor take in the width.

• Length

Decide on the height of the shoes you will be wearing with your pants, and have the pants altered accordingly. The hem should just graze the floor, but not drag on the ground.

Click here to see everything we have!

Skirts

Pencil skirts are a business wear staple, and can be worn with a matching suit jacket or other separate top. Follow these guidelines to make sure your skirt fits and flatters.

• Waist

Your skirt should sit right at or slightly below your natural waist. Use your belly button as a guide. If you have to suck in your belly to zip up, the skirt is too tight. Your zipper should pull up easily for the proper fit.

• Thigh

Take full advantage of the three-way mirrors in the dressing room and make sure there are no tight areas where your skirt puckers from strain. Conversely, you should not be swimming in extra fabric. Choose a skirt that fits your body nicely and gives you enough room to move.

• Length

The hem of your skirt should fall at or slightly above the knee.

Matching your clothes:

1. MAKE SURE THE COLORS AREN’T TOO CLOSE

One of the biggest fashion mistakes that women make is pairing suit separates in colors that are too close, such as a dark navy jacket and black pants, a white blazer and ivory pants, or a brown jacket and a skirt in a different shade of brown. Pairing those combinations will likely make it seem like you were trying to match but just didn’t quite get it right.

Instead, opt for colors that are completely different. A red jacket and a pair of navy pants will look great together, and so will a royal purple jacket and an ivory-colored skirt. Pro tip: Think back to the color wheel you learned in elementary school and try to pair contrasting colors.

2. MIX AND MATCH PATTERNS WITH SOLIDS

The easiest way to mix and match your suits is to pair patterns and neutrals. Have a floral pencil skirt? Pair it with one of your neutral suit jackets. Red pants? Wear them with a pinstripe blazer. It’s hard to go wrong with this strategy because the combinations that you put together will immediately feel new and fresh, and you won’t run the risk of putting together two items that don’t quite match, but look like they were supposed to.

Start by pulling a color from the print you’re starting with—such as the pink from a floral printed jacket—and find a solid-colored piece in that color to match with it. Another tip: Black and white prints, particularly black and white stripes, go with everything. Leopard is another great neutral print that will match practically any other solid color you pair it with.

3. THE FABRICS YOU MIX SHOULD LITERALLY FEEL DIFFERENT

Make sure the textures of your suiting separates have different enough textures, or you’ll look like you’re trying to match two separates that don’t go together instead of wearing two distinct separates. Pair a velvet blazer with wool pants or a tweed jacket with a thick ponte skirt so you don’t make this mistake. Another trick: Stock up on suiting separates that are the same material so you can easily mix and match different-colored separates.

Take another look at the suits in your closet: You’ll have a lot more outfits available to you when you start mixing and matching them. Create combinations that highlight contrasting textures, colors, or prints, and let your personality shine through the combinations you try.

Conclusion:

Thank you for reading our blog! Today we went over what a ladies suit is, the pants and skirt. We also went over how it should fit and how to match! feel free to stop in the store today for help picking out your new future favorite outfit!

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👗What we have👗

Introduction:

Welcome to Bella’s Ladies Collection‘s blog! Today we are going to share some of the different products we offer here at our store! Check out our table of contents below to see everything we have! You can look at the actual sections for the details like price! 

Table of Contents:

  • Ladies Suits
  • Dresses
  • Trousers
  • Tops
  • Fabric (Kitenge)
  • Shoes
  • Bags/Clutches

Suits:

We offer women and girls suits, they are imported from USA and Turkey. The prices range from 350k – 900k

Dresses:

We offer women and girls dresses that are imported from Italy, Turkey, and the USA. The prices range from 180k – 750k

Trousers:

Our women’s and girls trousers are imported from Italy and Turkey. The prices range from 150k – 200k

Tops:

We offer girls and omens tops imported from Turkey and the USA. The prices range from 70k – 150k

Fabrics (Kitenge):

Our fabrics are hang picked from West Africa. They are available in both plain and metallic. It is 25k per yard for plain and 45k per yard for metallic fabric.

Click here to read more about kitenge fabric!

Shoes:

We have girls and women’s shoes imported from the USA. The prices start at 200k.

Bags/Clutches:

Our bags and clutches are imported from Italy, Turkey, and the USA.

Conclusion:

Thank you for reading our blog! Today we went over what we carry in our store! Our WhatsApp number is listed below! Text us on Whatsapp if you have any questions or com einto the store!

Share this with your friends that are Fashionistas…

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp

Follow us to stay up to date on all the latest Fashions and stock arrivals…

👗About Kitenge Fabric👗

Introduction:

Welcome to Bella’s Collections first blog! We are a women’s clothing store and carry adult and children’s sizes! We have a wide variety of the newest styles clothes! We import all of our clothes and they’re only the best quality! Come on in today and check us out! 

In today’s blog we are going to talk about Kitenge Fabric! It is a West African fabric and we are going to dive right in! Check out all of the puctures and the table of contents below to see everything we cover! 

Table of Contents:

What is Kitenge Fabric?

Kitenge  is an East African, West African and Central African fabric  often worn by women and wrapped around the chest or waist, over the head as a headscarf, or as a baby sling. Kitenges are usually colorful pieces of fabric.

“Most fabric used is sourced from Tanzania and is made in Nigeria, West Africa, where the whole process is highly respected as a craft and a labour-intensive art form.”

There is a festival in Kenya, called the Kitenge festival, it is a popular event held periodically and is meant to highlight the varied uses of Kitenge fabric. Kitenges are usually given as gifts to young women.

Click here to see our Shoes, Bags and More page!

Different uses:

Kitenges can be used on occasions and in many ways either symbolically or for practical reasons.

  1. In Malawi, Kitenges are customary for women at funerals.
  2. The Maasai wears dark red kitenge garments to symbolize their love for and their dependence on the earth.
  3. They are used as a sling to hold a baby across the back of a mother. They can hold the baby at the front as well, particularly when breastfeeding.

    4. They are sometimes tied together and used as decorative pieces at dinner tables.

    5. When women go to the beach, often the Kitenge is wrapped around the bathing suit for modesty or to shield cold air.

    6. Kitenges can be framed or otherwise hung up on the wall as a decorative batik artwork.

    7. Kitenge cloth is also used to make a variety of clothing for women and in recent times men.

Click here to see our Dress page!

BASIC STEPS IN AFRICAN WAX PRINT FABRIC PRODUCTION:

Preparation

Raw cotton yarns are woven into grey cloth that is stiff and dirty. The cloth is then bleached white to clean and remove any impurities before being strengthened and stretched to its desired width.

Design

The prints are designed on a computer using CAD software in black and white form. Traditionally two or three colors are added to the cloth at the end of the production process. Each print design is usually produced in several different colorways.

Wax Printing

The design is engraved onto a pair of copper rollers before being printed onto both sides of the cloth using melted, molten wax. The wax used is a natural product that comes from pine tree resin.

Indigo Dying

The cloth is then put into an indigo dye bath where the exposed parts of the cloth are dyed and the resin covered parts are resisted. This process can also cause naturally formed fine cracks in the wax, which can allow small amounts of the dye to seep through onto the cloth.

Crackling Effect

The wax is then deliberately cracked using specific machinery depending on the desired outcome such as marbling and bubbles.

Coloration

Large, industrial printing machines are used to add solid colors to the design either before and/or after the wax is removed from the cloth. Sometimes part of the design is hand carved onto a wooden block and applied to the fabric by hand (called block printing). This coloration process is key to producing the highly distinctive and vibrant colors of all of our garments from African Dresses to African print trousers.

Washing

The cloth is then washed to remove all the small residues of wax and excess dyes ensuring that color fastness standards are met.

Finishing

There are different types of finishes that are applied to the cloth depending on the desired outcome. The fabric can sometimes look shiny which disappears after the first initial wash. Certain fabrics are more expensive due to the type of finishing used at the end of the manufacturing process, which can be costly.

Due to the nature of the wax printing process it is impossible to make each piece of cloth look exactly the same so they are truly unique. Furthermore because tailors cut the fabric used to make the clothing by hand, the print positioning is different on each item meaning each one is even more one of a kind! 

Click here to see our suit page!

Conclusion:

Today we went over what kitenge fabric is and all of the creative ways it can be used! We also went over the Basic steps in African Wax Print Fabric Production

Our site is new but make sure to check back weekly, we will always be adding new blogs! Our blogs will cover many things including how to match outfits, where our clothes come from, the history behind it all and many more! 

Fill out the form below for more information!

Stop on in the store today!