Kitenge or chitenge, is originally a fabric made out of 100% cotton and dyed with wax-technique. Widely spread in East-Africa. Kitenge patterns are endless and the motives are often surprising and unexpected, read.. razorblades, shrimps, lips, lamps. I´ve been told the motives should hold deeper sort of messages, but I´ve failed to understand what any of the above could possibly mean. A shrimp is but a shrimp... 

The most usual way of wearing kitenge, is wrapped around the waist as a sarong, but you can also spot the traditional gomesi sown out of it. Going to the textile-market for kitenge can be a bit of a headache. There is just too much to choose from! It doesn't make it easier that the fabrics are displayed, folded in shelves, so at first you only see a fragment of the whole pattern. Which means that you'll drive the salesmen crazy if you want to take a look at all of his selection.
Nowadays, there are a lot of replicas circulating. With poorly made printing techniques and in materials that I consider yuck, read synthetic. Be on the lookout for the stamps on the edges of the material.

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