African prints are diverse and versatile. From the Ankara fabrics to others such as Dashiki, Aso Oke, and now Kente, afrocentrism only reigns at its peak. As usual, these African prints have evolved to become mainstream, leaving the borders of their aboriginal countries. Little wonder the latest Kente styles for men and women can be worn by anyone regardless of their race or culture.
What is Kente?
Kente is a Ghanaian fabric made of handwoven cloth strips of silk and cotton. The name of this fabric originates from the word kenten, which means “basket” in the Asante dialect of Akan language.
Brief History of Kente Fabric
This fabric originated among the Ashanti people of Ghana. History has it that the fabric was worn in a toga-like fashion by royalty among ethnic groups including the Ashanti, the Akyem, and the Fante.
This fabric developed from different weaving traditions that were extant in Ghana prior to the 11th century. According to folklore, it is believed that weavers invented kente by seeking to replicate the patterns of the spider called Anansi.
Up until today, Bonwire remains the most famous place for weaving this fabric used in making the latest Kente styles.
What does the Different Colours of the Print Symbolise?
As you know, this fabric usually comes in multicolored prints and each colour stands to symbolise something. If any of the latest Kente styles you wear have the following colours, below are the symbolic meanings.
- White: This colour stands for purification and sanctification rites. It also symbolises festive occasions.
- Red: This colours stands to represent bloodshed, sacrificial rites, political and spiritual moods and death.
- Black: This colour symbolises mourning and funerals, the process of maturity, passing rites, intense spiritual energy, and the spirits of ancestors.
- Pink: The colour pink is associated with the essence of female life.
- Green: Green stands for spiritual renewal, vegetation, planting, harvesting and growth.
- Gold: It symbolises royalty, glory, purity and wealth.
- Yellow: This colour represents fertility, beauty, royalty and wealth.
- Blue: This colour stands for love, peace and harmony.
- Grey: The colour grey is associated with healing and cleansing rituals.
- Maroon: This colour is associated with healing. It is the colour of mother earth.
- Purple: This represents femininity and is mostly worn by women.
- Silver: This colour is associated with the moon. It stands for serenity, purity and joy.
Latest Kente Styles for Men and Women
These latest Kente styles are all you need to feel Ghanaian regardless of your nationality. They are functional, modern and at the same time traditional.
Ankara shouldn’t be the only native attire you wear. Show you’re a versatile African by trying out any of these latest Kente styles.
1. Mix and Match
You don’t have to sew an outfit with the Kente print alone. These Kente styles involves mixing the print with another fabric of different yet matching colour. That is, you can blend it with a plain-coloured fabric or other fabrics like Ankara, lace and brocade.
The print can also be used in making any bottom of your choice be it pants, shorts or skirts.
Looking for the right outerwear to layer your outfits? Try having a Kente blazer or kimono. You can as well go further by making it into a suit.
Among the latest Kente styles are shirts, crop tops and every other top you can wear. You can even have the fabric sewn into a top for the office or weekend getaways.
This print can be merged with streetwear to create Afro-urban pieces in the form of tees, sweatshirts, hoodies, denim tops and what have you.
A beautiful dress tailored with this print to mirror any of the latest Kente styles will keep you looking Africanly stylish.
7. Head ties
You can wear a readymade apparel and tie an headwear made with this print. It’s still among the latest kente styles you should try out.
Now you know the latest Kente styles for you. If you’d like to know how the Kente design is made, watch the video below and see for yourself.