How to Source African Fabrics for Etsy, Amazon, Ebay, and Temu
Ankara fabric business, Ankara fabric sales, Ankara fabric suppliers, fabric wholesalers in Nigeria

How to Source African Fabrics for Etsy, Amazon, Ebay, and Temu

Looking to sell African inspired designs on Etsy, Amazon, eBay or Temu but don’t know where to find affordable, authentic African fabrics? Vibrant wax prints, ankara fabrics, lush mudcloth, colorful kitenge and intricate adire textiles can be tricky to source consistently when you aren’t located on the continent. How can you get your hands on unique kente, dashiki prints and West African indigo fabrics to craft into stylish products that stand out from the competition?

How to Source African Fabrics for Etsy, Amazon,  Ebay, and Temu

How to Source African Fabrics for Etsy, Amazon, Ebay, and Temu

This article tackles the all important question of the best places to source high quality, exotic African fabrics so you can create pieces with global appeal to sell online.
Whether ordering direct from African sellers, working with specialty importers or scouring markets while travelling, we cover various effective tactics for accessing prints, materials and readymade African textiles cost-effectively.

How to Source African Fabrics for Etsy, Amazon, Ebay, and Temu

African fabrics and textiles are vibrant, colorful, and unique – making them very popular for apparel, home decor, accessories, and more. Selling African inspired designs made with gorgeous wax prints, ankara fabrics, kente cloth, kitenge, adire fabric, and more on sites like Etsy, Amazon, eBay and Temu can be extremely lucrative.
However, finding affordable and authentic fabrics can be tricky when you aren’t located in Africa.
The following paragraphs will provide tips on the best places to source quality African fabrics so you can create stylish products to sell online.

Buy Directly from African Fabric Vendors

Purchasing fabrics directly from vendors located in Africa is the best way to source authentic textiles at great prices. Going direct to the source cuts out any middlemen, keeping costs lower for you.
Contact sellers via Email, WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram to find trusted vendors who can supply fabrics in bulk like wax prints, ankara, kente cloth and kitenge by the yard/meter or as readymade clothing items.

Many vendors have digital catalogues showcasing what’s available so you can easily view and choose prints and textiles. Discussion production capabilities, minimum order quantities and pricing to negotiate the best deals. Keep quantities high to get discounts. Pay via PayPal, bank transfer or Western Union once you’ve secured samples and are happy with quality.

Work With African Fabric Wholesalers

Another good supply route is fabric wholesalers based in Africa who specialize in wax prints, mudcloth, batik and other traditional textiles.
Wholesalers source printed and handmade fabrics in high volumes direct from the manufacturers, printers, artisans and cooperatives – enabling them to supply at lower costs with faster delivery times.

Search for reputable suppliers online that can ship fabrics globally. They will have a wide variety of different patterns and designs available by the yard along with product photos so you can see what’s in stock. Wholesalers are set up to cater to resellers so will offer generous bulk discounts, bundled deals and loyalty rewards.

Visit Fabric Markets When Travelling

If you ever find yourself travelling anywhere in Africa, visiting bustling local markets selling traditional fabrics and artisan textiles is a must.
There are sprawling textiles markets across the continent like Lagos Market, Kantamanto Market in Ghana, Sir Seretse Khama Market in Botwsana and Mutindwa Market in Uganda where you can shop for all kinds of beautiful African prints and handicrafts.

Check the stalls to find wax prints, lush lace, handwoven strips of kente and kitenge, intricate embroidery and so much more. With the power of haggling, you can snag amazing deals on exotic textiles, accessories and ready made products to resell online or use for manufacturing. Paying with foreign currency like USD or Euros also works favorably when negotiating prices at street markets.

Order from Specialty Importers

There are now some great small import businesses focused exclusively on sourcing high quality, ethically produced African fabrics and garments for the international market. They handle everything from selecting unique designs and interesting craft textiles to shipping items worldwide.

Working with specialty importers is convenient as they offer curated collections of fabrics like wax prints, ankara, kitenge and adire sourced directly from the communities of artisans in Africa. Their supply chain transparency allows you to feel good about supporting local African craftspeople. Order authentic textiles online for prompt delivery so you can craft up stylish products to sell.

Use Online Marketplaces

Online marketplaces have opened up access to beautiful African prints and textiles without needing to travel to the continent or work with offshore suppliers.
Websites like offer global delivery of gorgeous Nigerian wax prints, ankara fabrics, appliqué fabric and African lace trim by the yard in quantities.

Etsy and eBay also have some excellent Africa based shops selling a wide variety textiles and fabrics for reasonable rates. Purchase signature fabrics like vibrant Ankara prints, West African mudcloth, bespoke kitenge designs and delicate South African lace to create accessories, fashions or decor to stand out when selling online.

Frequently Asked Questions on How to Source African Fabrics for Etsy, Amazon, Ebay, and Temu

Here are some frequently asked questions and answers on how to source African fabrics for popular online stores.

Q: What are some good online sites to buy authentic African print fabrics?

A: Some good sites to buy authentic African fabrics online are,,,, and many sellers on Etsy and eBay.

Q: What types of African fabrics are bestsellers online?

A: Some of the most popular African fabrics that sell very well online include wax prints, kente cloth, bogolan ankara fabrics, dashiki prints, kitenge (chitenge), adire, ankara, and lace fabrics like sequin and tulle lace.

Q: Where can I find unique or limited edition African print designs?

A: Specialty African fabric importers and resellers will carry more exclusive designer collections of prints. Also try connecting directly with textile designers in Africa via Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp to custom order bespoke prints in small batches.

Q: How much African fabric should I order at a time?

A: When first getting started, order fabric in small increments like 5-10 yards to test product viability. Opt for bundle deals or wholesale priced fabrics by the bolt (usually 24 yards is one bolt) to get discounts once your items start selling consistently.

Q: Should I work with a supplier or buy direct from local markets and artisans?

A: Partnering with an established African fabric supplier gives convenience plus they handle logistics like shipping and payments. But buying direct allows you to get very unique pieces, support local communities, and haggle for the absolute lowest prices at markets. Using a mix of both methods builds great working relationships and diverse inventory.

Q: How do I know if African wax print fabrics are authentic versus imitations?

A: Quality indicators for authentic wax prints are vibrant colors and motifs with defined lines etched into the fabric versus printed on top. Wax prints feel slightly stiff, have a light wax coating, and the color dye pattern goes all the way through when held up to light.


With so many stunning and unique designs, African inspired fabric and textile products are always high demand.
Sourcing quality, authentic fabrics at great prices is vital for building a successful online business selling products made from exotic African prints and artisan materials.
Establishing trusted supply routes via African vendors, fabric wholesalers, market visits and specialty importers ensures reliable access to traditional textiles from across the continent.


About Mfonobong Daniel

Daniel is a seasoned content writer and the content manager at Ankara. He is a lover of books, creative writing, with a penchant for poetry and music. He holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *