African Kitenge Fabric: Authenticity & Elegance | Bella’s Ladies Collection

African Kitenge Fabric: Authenticity & Elegance | Bella's Ladies Collection

August 23rd 2023

Close-up view of the intricate patterns on the Kitenge fabric, showcasing its detailed craftsmanship.

The Allure of African Kitenge Fabric: A Timeless Tradition

Introduction to African Kitenge Fabric

The rich tapestry of African culture is woven with threads of history, tradition, and artistry. At the heart of this vibrant mosaic lies the Kitenge fabric, a symbol of African heritage and fashion. Originating from West Africa, Kitenge is more than just fabric; it’s a canvas that tells stories of communities, celebrations, and identities. At Bella’s Ladies Collection, we are proud to bring you the authentic essence of this African treasure.

Fusion of modern and traditional designs on the Kitenge fabric, highlighting its versatility.
Trendy Fusion Kitenge Fabric: 45k per meter

Versatility & Elegance: The Many Faces of Kitenge

The Versatility of Kitenge Fabric

From the bustling streets of Kampala to international fashion runways, Kitenge has made its mark as a versatile fabric fit for various occasions. Whether you’re dressing for a corporate meeting, a church service, or a festive event, Kitenge seamlessly blends elegance with tradition. Imagine a Woodin-inspired office dress or a Ghana fabric gown for a gala; the possibilities are endless.

Bella's Promise: Authenticity and Quality in Every Yard

Quality and Authenticity: Bella’s Promise

In a world flooded with imitations, Bella’s Ladies Collection stands as a beacon of authenticity. Our Kitenge fabric, sourced directly from West Africa, is a testament to our commitment to quality. Every yard of fabric echoes our branding promises: Only New Originals, never copies. With a weekly influx of the latest trends from Turkey, we ensure that our collection remains fresh, vibrant, and in vogue.

Modern Kitenge fabric in trendy teal with fusion patterns.
Size: Sold by the yard. Price: 45k Ugx per yard.

Sizes, Prices, and the Rich Varieties of Kitenge

Sizes, Prices, and Varieties

Dive into our African Fabric Gallery and discover a plethora of designs waiting to be transformed into stunning outfits. Our Kitenge fabric is available in:

  • Metallic Glow, Patterned Magic, Traditional Essence, Classic, and Trendy Fusion – all priced at 45k Ugx per yard.
  • For those seeking a subtler touch, our plain fabric is available at 25k Ugx per yard, while the shimmering metallic variant is priced at 45k Ugx per yard.

Visit Our Kampala Store: A World of African Fashion Awaits

Visit Bella’s Ladies Collection: A Call to Action

The beauty of Kitenge is best experienced firsthand. We invite you to visit our store at the corner of Kampala and Entebbe Road Junction. Let our expert sales team, Carol, Joy, Judith, and Ritah, guide you through our collection, offering insights into the latest European and USA trends. And if you’re eager to explore our range from the comfort of your home, simply click on our WhatsApp button or visit our Kitenge Fabric page for a virtual tour.

In the world of fashion, where trends come and go, the African Kitenge fabric remains timeless. It’s not just a piece of cloth; it’s a legacy, a tradition, and a statement. Embrace the allure of African Dresses with Bella’s Ladies Collection and let your style narrate tales of a rich heritage.

Practical Uses of African Fabric | Bella’s Ladies Collection

Bella's New Stock Update 72

Practical Uses Of African Fabric

African Fabric Month is being celebrated by Cultured Expressions to raise awareness of the many creative and practical use of African Fabrics For the month of September, the brand is urging its DIY audience to engage in educational & culturally relevant events to honor African civilizations that produce real Fabric.



To highlight some of the continent’s most popular textile arts, Cultured Expressions has supported the endeavor. An increasing number of fashion designers and retailers are incorporating hints of African culture into their creations, as well as home furnishings. All of these fabrics, as well as many others from Africa, are being utilized to produce one-of-a-kind clothing and accessory designs, as well as home decor items like quilts, purses, and pillows.



African textile craftsmanship is one of the greatest pleasures, in contrast to negative portrayals of the continent that are so prevalent in the media. African Fabric Month is another fun vehicle to reach people,” said Lisa Shepard Stewart, writer, designer, and owner of Cultured Expressions, about her passion for creating activities and events that expose peoples of all backgrounds to beauty of the fabrics and allow them to embrace the culture.

This month’s celebration of African Fabrics Month is a global phenomenon despite Stewart’s home base in New Jersey, United States.



This project has a month-long deadline in order to offer DIYers of all skill levels an opportunity to show off their skills in areas like sewing, quilting, and more.



African fabric has and continues to play an important role in the exchange of information, knowledge, and social relationships within specific groups. It is not only the selection of color and kind of thread that has a spiritual and historical meaning but the ornamental elements, symbols, and figural compositions that are closely linked to historical proverbs or events. As a kind of storytelling, they impart important information to a person or a family, or a broader social group.



Social and political commentary and commemoration of special events are common uses for African Fabric, such as weddings, funeral service commemorations, and the naming of children. Historically, chiefs and regional officials were in charge of distributing and controlling the use of these items.


They are worn as skirts around the waist and hips, or as tunics and robes for personal ornamentation. It is fairly uncommon for African fabrics to be utilized as backgrounds for public celebrations.



However, centuries of tradition as well as a culture of crafting wonderful items give some African communities’ clothing an elegance and vibrancy that it does not experience within the Western world, which prefers conformity over individual expression. African fabrics are often used to provide warmth or cover.



Fashion designers throughout the world employ traditional African textiles such as Ankara and wax designs to create skirts, shirts, and head wraps, among other things. There is, however, a plethora of other things you do with African fabric. All it requires is a little imagination to create a colorful aesthetic that combines exquisite African flair with contemporary elements.


👗About Kitenge Fabric👗


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.

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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.

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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.


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.


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.


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


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! 

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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.


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. 


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!