Classic Traditional Aso Oke . Photo credit:


Ladunni Lambo recently featured at the London Fashion Week. I like the fact that you can tell immediately from some of her designs  what’s  Aso Oke. Some more modern designs of Aso Oke cannot be distinguished from machine made Chinese Aso Oke copies as their purveyors try very hard to blend in with Western plaids, Ghanaian Kente etc. As much as we want to showcase our ancient traditional African fabric to the world, we must be careful not to lose the essence of design that makes it unique. I’ve seen Aso Oke designs that look exactly like school uniform check patterns! Oh No no no no…..


About Aso Oke

“Aso oke fabric, (Yoruba: Așǫ oke, pronounced ah-SHAW-okay) is a hand loomed cloth woven by the Yoruba people of western Nigeria. Aso oke means top cloth in the English language. – Wikipedia




Other ways that designers have made this old traditional cloth become more modern is to “structurally manipulate and combine animal and floral motifs into definite shapes of grids and geometry, suitable for computer design applications.” The basis of more traditional motifs would have originated from fables and folklore  – Wikipedia

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Types of Aso Oke

Sanyan type: woven from anaphe wild silk and cotton yarns
Alaari type: woven with either synthetically or locally grown cotton and shinning threads, sometimes with perforated patterns
Etu type: bears dark indigo colours with tiny white stripes noted for their simplicity.” – Wikipedia

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Her designs were apparently quite a hit!



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