About Lace Fabric in Nigeria
Lace Fabrics

About Lace Fabric in Nigeria: History, Origin, Types, Where it’s Made

How much do you know about lace fabric in Nigeria? Let’s take a trip down the memory lane to know the history of lace fabrics in the country.
Lace fabric is a delicate and beautiful textile that is popular in Nigeria. Nigerians use lace fabric to make various kinds of traditional attires that are worn during cultural events, weddings, parties, church events and more. The origin of lace fabric in Nigeria is quite interesting.

About Lace Fabric in Nigeria

About Lace Fabric in Nigeria: History, Origin, Types, Where it’s Made

In this article, we will discuss about lace fabric in Nigeria. We will also talk about the history, origin, and types of lace fabrics in the country.

History and Origin of Lace Fabric in Nigeria

Lace fabric was introduced to Nigeria by European missionaries and traders during the colonial era.

Originally from Europe, lace fabric became popular among the Nigerian elite and royal families in the early 20th century who were fascinated by the beautiful designs.
Its usage eventually trickled down and became more widespread among regular Nigerians.

The earliest lace fabrics were made of linen, cotton or silk threads that were intricately woven together to create lovely openwork patterns.
In Nigeria, the fabric was initially mostly imported from Europe before local cottage industries started weaving and sewing the fabric.
The traditional Nigerian lace fabric is the kind that is specially woven into loose open patterns.

Over the decades, Nigerian lace fabric has evolved adopting various colors, patterns and embellishments that make it uniquely Nigerian.
The special Nigerian lace is so intricately designed that it takes great skill to handmake. Nigerian women particularly love the fabric for its gorgeous and classy visual appeal.

Types of Lace Fabrics

There are three main types of locally made Nigerian lace fabrics:

  1. Buba Lace: This type of lace fabric is designed for making buba blouses and tops. The patterns are deliberately created to suit blouses.
  2. Ready-made Lace: This refers to lace fabric that has already been stitched into a gown or dress. Most times, embroidery, beads or sequins are used to embellish ready-made lace dresses.
  3. Raw Edge Lace: This is lace fabric that has unfinished edges. They come in pieces and have to be stitched to make dresses or matched with other fabrics to create stunning outfits.

Where Lace Fabric is Made

There are many places where lace fabrics are made in Nigeria.
Abeokuta, Oyo and Lagos states boast the highest concentration of lace makers in the country. Other states known for lace fabric production are Ondo, Edo, and Rivers states amongst others.

The lace making industry provides employment opportunities for numerous talented artisans in these places.

Making Lace Fabric in Nigeria

Making the uniquely patterned Nigerian lace is a specialized craft that requires great skill in embroidery, sewing, weaving and sometimes tie-dying fabrics. The openwork patterns are created using various stitching methods like embroidery, netting, knitting or crocheting fine threads together.

Most times, imported laces may be combined with locally made embroidery to create a unique lace fabric. The threads and fabrics used for weaving and embroidering are sourced locally while some accessories like beads, crystals, needles and fasteners may be imported.

The process of creating made in Nigeria lace fabrics involves many steps including pattern design, sourcing materials, weaving/stitching the patterns, embellishing, dyeing, quality checking and final finishing. Many artisans are involved in the whole process specializing in the various stages.

Quality lace fabric production requires deft skills in seamlessly combining colors, intricate patterns while ensuring the lace is durable enough to maintain structural integrity during wear. Top grade lace fabrics have evenly created patterns, firmly attached embellishments, and neat hems without loose threads.

Frequently Asked Questions about Lace Fabric in Nigeria

Here are some frequently asked questions on lace fabric in Nigeria:

When was lace fabric first introduced to Nigeria?

Lace fabric was introduced to Nigeria during the colonial era by European missionaries and traders in the early 20th century. The royal families and Nigerian elite were the first to use the imported lace fabrics.

What materials are used to make Nigerian lace fabric?

Nigerian lace fabrics are made from materials like cotton, linen, silk or synthetic threads that are stitched together in openwork patterns. Some common techniques used include embroidery, netting, knitting and crocheting.

What are the main types of lace fabrics made in Nigeria?

The three main types are Buba lace designed for blouses and tops, Ready-made lace which are stitched into full dresses, and Raw edge lace that comes in pieces to be matched with other fabrics. There are also beaded lace fabrics which are all available here at Ankara.com.ng

What technique is used to create the unique patterns on Nigerian lace fabrics?

The patterns are made by expertly combining various stitching methods like embroidery, netting, knitting and crocheting fine threads together in intricate designs. Most times imported laces are combined with local embroidery during production.

What are some essential skills needed to make the special Nigerian lace fabrics?

Skills in embroidery, stitch work, sewing, weaving, fabric dyeing and embellishing using beads and crystals are needed to produce the high-quality lace fabrics Nigerians love. Attention to detail in designing and stitching patterns is also crucial.

How can you tell a good quality Nigerian lace fabric?

Good quality lace fabrics have evenly made patterns without irregularities, firmly attached embellishments that won’t fall off, neat hems without loose threads, vibrant long-lasting colors and maintains structure without tearing when worn.

Why do Nigerians love wearing lace fabrics?

Nigerians are drawn to the gorgeous, classy and regal visual appeal of the elaborate lace designs. The fabrics allow for beautifully vibrant colors, patterns and textures that align with cultural fashion tastes.


From its introduction to Nigeria during the colonial times, lace fabric has cemented itself as one of the most beloved fabrics for Nigerians across ethnic groups.
The uniquely Nigerian lace fabric reveals skills of highly talented local artisans who have preserved age-old production techniques combined with contemporary design elements.
With love for vivid colors, elaborate patterns and quality fabrics deeply embedded in Nigerian cultural fashion, locally made lace fabrics will likely remain appealing to Nigerians for generations to come.


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 *