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Nigerian Lace Trade Industry: A 10 Year Trend

Up until the advent of modern styles of fabrics and clothing, there had been some traditional fashions that were still modish as at then. These traditional fashions include fabrics and clothing that are serviceable to the various regions of Nigeria. With the country having a lot of distinct ethnic groups, these fabrics reflect the culture and tradition of the respective people. The lace clothing entered into the country following the introduction of fabrics, and from then it has been a lot of story to tell.

This article will investigate into the Nigerian lace trade industry and highlight how this sector fared in the last decade.

History of Textile Fabrics in Nigeria

The history of fabrics in Nigeria started following the advent of textiles into the continent in the mid-50s. This could be precisely around the 1960s when textile  manufacturing commenced in the northern parts of the country. Ever since its inception in the country, the textile industry has been one of the highly ranked in the manufacturing industries. It’s interesting to hear that Nigeria is among the highly ranked countries with respect to the textile industry in the African continent. Precisely looking at the regions, textile manufacturing is mainly developed in Northern, Tropical Africa and South Africa. Contrasting Nigeria with other African countries, it occupies the third place, after Egypt and South African in the echelon of the highest textile producers. Nowadays, the textile industry which was done manually is dominated by mechanized cotton production, production of cellulose and synthetic fibers. There is also the production of silk and wool which is just developed.

Weaving is the most popular trade in the Nigerian textile industry. The trade has been in existence since the start of textile in the country. The Hausa weavers are the utilizers of this trade as they use homemade horizontal lathes for making coloured fabrics, having each of them a special name and purpose. The main centre for weaving is in the Northern part of the country – precisely in Kano. The region is very famous for textile manufacturing even in the ancient times.

Just as the textile industry in most countries is based on private, mainly foreign, capital, Nigeria’s own is just the same. Foreign companies increase investment in the industry and encourage local raw material producers. 

The colonial rule greatly affected the textile industry as most basic positions in the textile industry belonged to companies of the former colonialist. However, this has brought the increasing competitive spirit from companies in the U.S., Italy, Asia. Among them, a special role is played by Japanese companies “AREVA” and “Isibo” which are involved in mixed enterprises and supply of equipment (operating in Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda). 

Lace Trade Industry in Nigeria

In Nigeria, lace is very popular and worn in almost all areas of the country, yet hardly any individuals know how long this material has been an imperative quality of public activity and how they really began. Indeed it is around more than fifty years that these brilliant fabrics materials characterize the presence of Nigerians around the world, and have become an inborn component of their traditional styles and fashion.

The trade industry began in the mid 1960s when the Nigerian-Austrian textile network market started. Like the notable wax prints created for the African market first in Europe since the nineteenth century and later too in Africa, the industry developed to most part of the continent including Nigeria.

A 10 Year Trend of the Nigerian Lace Trade Industry

Key Highlights

There have been many which featured in the Nigerian fabrics industry in the recent past ten years. This includes: becoming a the trade industry and business sector; introduction of modern styles and materials, augmentation of the industries, and subsequently the avoidable problems which has hitch the production in the country. Let’s look at them explicitly;

  • Intermittent Trade Business: The Nigerian textile industry was once the major income generator for the government. But sadly, the story has changed as the sector is beginning to emerge in the last decade. Recall, between 1985 and 1991, the textile industry employed more than 350,000 workers and about 180 textile mills were in operation in the country. Nonetheless, there is still hope as there is still  room for business in the industry. The textile industry encompasses a range of industrial units, which use a wide variety of natural and synthetic fibers to produce fabrics
  • Introduction of Modern Styles and Materials: There have been an introduction of modern styles and classification of fabric material in Nigeria over the years. This includes lace and fabrics that are handmade or machine-made. The quality of these materials can’t be underrated as it uses synthetic fibers which are more durable. Metallic threads add shimmering, there are also patterns and the design can often be geometric, ornamental, with stripes and waves, checks and paisley. On the whole, the lace fabrics are perfect for evening, weddings/ bridal and casual wear, home textiles, lingerie and as well finishing.
  • Augmentation of Industries: A look at the textile and fabrics industry, there has been an improvement of the abysmal production industries over the last ten years. This involves the remodeling of the current production structures. Here is the rundown of top 10 fabrics/textile companies currently operating in Nigeria, and they are engaged in producing clothing, textile and lace fabrics materials;
  1. African Textile Manufacturers Limited;
  2. Femro 3 Nigeria Limited;
  3. ABA Textile Mills PLC;
  4. Afprint Nigeria Plc;
  5. Asaba Textile Mills PLC;
  6. Dangote General Textile Products Limited;
  7. Enpee Industries, PLC;
  8. Qualitex Textiles Limited;
  9. Table Source Nigeria Limited;
  10. Udeofson Garment Factory Nigeria Plc.

Problems of the Industry

Indeed, there have been problems with the lace fabrics industry and the textile industry at large. This problem makes the low output of locally made clothing, and this has resulted in the unceasing importation of foreign clothing and lace fabrics.

The problems of textile industry in Nigeria include the following;

  • Lack of quality facilities;
  • Non-ability to hire qualified workers;
  • Smuggling;
  • Non-patronisation by citizens and unsold stocks;
  • And Non-intervention of the Federal government;

These problems have been greatly affecting the country’s textile and fabrics industry for a long time now. Possible Solutions to these menace will be by the government creating favouring policies for local producers; the investment in the industry; and the patronisation of the sector by all and sundry.


That’s the size of this article, as we have expressed much about the Nigerian lace trade industry in a ten year trend. This article explicated about the history of textile fabrics, the lace fabrics industry, the highlight of a decade trend of the country’s lace trade industry including the major accomplishments, and subsequently the problems facing the Nigerian textile industry.


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.