Hello, and welcome to our African Textiles series. In the upcoming weeks we will be focusing on our love for African textiles and especially the ones we use here at Adele Dejak. First up, the Kanga/Leso.
“Mwanamke mazingira tunataka, usawa, amani, maendelo”. This is one of the many messages imprinted in the Swahili Kanga. The message translates to “We (women) want equality, peace, and progress.
The Kanga, also known as Leso, is a pure cotton cloth that originated from the coast of East Africa in the mid-19th century. Kanga designs have evolved over the years, from simple spots and borders to a huge variety of elaborate patterns of every conceivable motif and color. For a century, kangas were mostly designed and printed in India, the Far East and Europe. But since the 1950’s, more and more kangas have been designed and printed in Tanzania, Kenya, and other countries in Africa.
Kangas are extremely popular throughout East Africa not only for clothing but for their multiple uses; no-one can ever have too many! As an art form as well as a beautiful, convenient garment, it has become an integral part of East African culture. It is greatly associated with the Swahili culture and as such it should be designed with extreme care to appeal to its users. As the saying goes, “The kanga struts in style. Wear it with a smile!” Adele Dejak is living by this phrase. With our stylish designs that cater for the fashion needs of the modern African woman, we have been able to come up with unique pieces that not only carry a bold message but also set a trend in redefining African fashion.
We have a variety of leso day bags and clutches that can be rocked on different occasions. Whether it’s a wedding, a party or day out with the girls, keep slaying with these Adele leso pieces.
“Kanga hujirigisha na urembo wake, nunua vaa kwa utabasamu…. A kanga attracts for its decorations and designs, so buy and wear it with flamboyance”.