Afrocentric Accessories

The African symbols Jes Playin featured on some of her jewelry started something.  Since that post, I’ve had the desire to seek out accessories using authentic African fabrics and materials.  In my search, I discovered Adega Creations and Urban Knit, two Etsy shops which more than fulfilled that desire. 

ADEGA CREATIONS – I found the beautiful craftmanship and techniques used to make Adega Creations’ jewelry and housewares amazing.  Also check out AFRICAN FASHIONS, a clothing store owned by family member of Adega Creations who is an accomplished seamstress.  Custom orders also taken.

Here is a little information about how Adega Creations began:

Margaret Adega Creations was started in 1987, in Nairobi, Kenya, by Margaret Ogembo, one of seven sisters who all have worked in the business. Two of the sisters, Roseline and Akinyi, now live in Charlotte, NC.  Margaret Ogembo is a nurse by profession and founded a health clinic in western Kenya.  Her tribe, the Luo, of all the tribes in Kenya, has the highest rate of AIDS/HIV.  The profits from the shop go to help support her health clinic. Adega Creations specializes in authentic African arts, crafts, clothing, jewelry, baskets, and many other items.  

1.  adegabrassdrop.jpg     2.  africanfashionearrings.jpg     3.  adegasandals.jpg

4.  adegajewelryset.jpg    5.  africanfashioncaftan.jpg    6.  africanfashionskirtset.jpg

  1. Earrings, $7.00.  Featuring hand scuptured brass.  These art deco earrings will add flare to any outfit.
  2. Earrings, $7.00.  These earrings are made from cow horn. They are cut, polished and colored with natural dyes then sealed with bee’s wax. All hand made in Kenya.
  3. Sandals, $30.00.  These sandals are cured leather with bead work on the straps. We buy the sandals ready made from an uncle and add the bead work ourselves. All work is done in Kenya.  Shoes are size 41, which in American is size 9.5 or 10.
  4. Matching necklace, bracelet and earring set, $42.00.  Made from cow bone in Kenya, each piece is hand cut, hand polished, colored with natural dyes using the lost wax technique.
  5. Kaftan, $49.00.  Bold African mudprint designs contour and give you a sleek, feminine silhouette. Includes a matching head wrap. Hand wash. Will custom taylor to your size up to a 62″ bust and 52″ length.
  6. Two-Piece Outfit, $129.00.  This skirt and blouse is size 10. It is a traditional african cotton print called kitenge. It has a zipper in back for both blouse and skirt. It is fully lined.

URBAN KNIT – Urban Knit uses authentic African fabrics which adds richness and boldness to her bags, clutches, and pouches, making them extraordinarily one-of-a-kind.   

The owner of Urban Knit, Dolapo James, shares some information about herself with us:

My name is Dolapo James.  I am a 29 year old Nigerian and work as an Architect in London.  I started Urbanknit because I enjoy thinking up and making new things.  I particularly like the idea of creating one off items that are completely unique.  One thing I never do is make the same things twice. 

I started the new line of bags in ‘Ankara’, ‘Adire’, and ‘Aso-oke’, all fabrics made and sourced in Nigeria because I love the vibrance and boldness of the fabrics that I grew up wearing.  Each one tells its own story.  I also really enjoy knitting, but get bored with the regular knitting thats out there and make up my own patterns.  I especially love chunky yarn and knits.

1.  urbanknitbeigepouch.jpg   2.  urbanknitdenimclutch.jpg   3.  urbanknitankarawristlet.jpg

4.  urbanknitoctopusbag.jpg          5. urbanknitlimetote.jpg          6. urbanknitshoulderbag.jpg

  1. Ankara and leather zipper pouch, $15.50.  This funky little purse is a simple little pouch that can do pretty much anything you want it to.  Coins, makeup, money, receipts, its up to you.  Fits nicely into a bigger bag too.  
  2. Batik and Denim Clutch, $33.00.  ‘The Skweez Clutch’ is ideal for everyday running around and shopping.  Outer fabric is West African batik fabric from Nigeria.  Flap is dark blue denim.  Width: 8.5″ (22cm), Height: 5″ (13cm), Fastening: Magnetic snaps (for security).
  3. Ankara Wristlet Experiment, $27.00.  This is introducing the new range of wristlets.  It is made from African print fabric from Nigeria known as ‘Ankara’.   Width 7.8 inches (20cm), Height 5.3 inches (13.5cm).
  4. Olive and Black Woodin Octopus, $50.00.  This is the octopus bag, named because it has eight arms (four really but eight if you count the lining!) It is made out of woodin which is print fabric from West Africa.  It has 4 straps that can be tied together in any number of ways.  Lined in black cotton.
  5. Lime Tiny Tote, $30.00.  This little tote is just the right size for holding all your essentials without weighing you down!  Made out of batik fabric, known as ‘adire’ from Nigeria, West Africa, it has two ties which you knot together to form the handle.  Lined in soft black cotton and has a black cotton base.  Height: 9 inches(23cm), Width: 13.5 inches (33cm).  Measurement from base of the bag to tip of each handle is 24inches (60cm).
  6. Ankara Shoulder Bag, $45.00.  Both inner and outer fabrics are print fabric from Nigeria, West Africa.  Wide shoulder strap makes it more comfortable to wear across the body or just over the shoulder.  Magnetic snap for fastening to keep your contents safe.  Inner pocket to store smaller things.  Height: 14.5 inches (37cm), Width: 18 inches (45cm), Strap: 21.5 inches (55cm), Fabric: African print (Ankara). 
  7. When you have the time, check out the website of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art.  There is a lot to see and learn here (textiles, sculptures, masks, etc.), but you’ll leave enlightened with a greater appreciation of the culture, traditions, and art of Africa.  

    Any links to African textiles or art you want to share are welcomed.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Thanks so much for the feature. I will be stopping by regularly too!


  2. Posted by maturenatural on February 17, 2008 at 10:38 am

    Thank you for allowing me Urbanknit. Hey, I had a chance to take a peek at your knits………WOW!


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