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The Different Types of Fabrics Available in Nigerian Markets

The Nigerian fabrics industry is very vast and as such creating a good market in the fashion line. There are good numbers of traditional fabrics all through the country. This includes popular ones like Ankara, Atiku, Also oke, Batiks, Brocades and the rest of others. This article will investigate these indigenous fabrics in the country and subsequently explicate more on them. We will also highlight the features of these different types of fabrics available in the country’s market and also how they look like.

The information of the different types of fabrics mean a big deal for the seasoned cloth merchant and the up-to-date tailor, in giving them the knowledge of the products in the industry. However, those that are not quite conversant with Nigerian fashion may not fully comprehend the variety of fabrics in the Nigerian cloth markets. As such, this kind of article is very important for them to be acquainted with what types of clothing materials that are available in this region. With new distinguishing designs and grades of fabrics being developed to satisfy wide tastes and suit the pockets of buyers, the need to know them has been significant.

Here, we will encapsulate about ten fabric types that are available in the country. From this rundown, you will have the knowledge of which ones to go for.

List of the Types of Fabrics in the Nigerian Markets

The following is the rundown of the different types of fabrics that are available in Nigerian markets;


Ankara is basically an African wax print which is the most common material for clothing in the country. It is also known as Dutch wax prints, due to its originality. The manufacturers of these fabrics include Da Viva, Vlisco, and Hi-Target.  More explicitly, ankara is a cotton fabric that is much liked for its vividly coloured patterns. They come in different designs and grades and are the most common fabrics you can find in almost every Nigerian fashion market. Furthermore, ankara are mostly sold in 12 yards or 6 yards. The clothing is not limited to combining with lace, silk, plain cotton, chiffon or tulle, and embroidered with stones, but it’s a multi-styled outfit.

Aso oke

The Yoruba-inclined aso oke is a prominent type of fabrics available in the Nigerian market. It’s one of the rare local fabrics that have survived the extinction of indigenously produced Nigerian fashion. The fabric can be produced from cotton and is sometimes combined with other materials like silk and metallic yarn. The application of aso oke goes for making agbadas and filas (Yoruba men’s gowns and hats) and wrappers (iro) and head ties (gele) for women. Indeed, the clothing isn’t limited only to the south-western tribe, but rather it’s also worn in other areas of the country.


Atiku is a fabric clothing much like brocades, which is made from cotton materials. The designs of the fabric material can be plain, stripped, or patterned and they come in grades. Atiku fabrics are sewn as fashionable native wears for occasions by Nigerian men who use it to make the senator and agbada styles. The fabric is also used by   ladies to wear in alluring styles and colors. In all, atiku is a fabric clothing that really suits the trending Nigerian fashion industry.


Batik is a type of fabric that is made as an adire in the country. The patterns and motifs of batik clothing are created via a dye mechanism in which the cloths are made to resist dyes by tying (adire eleso) or by applying cassava paste (adire eleko). The application of batik clothing is very vast, in that it is used to make buba gowns and dresses and contemporary fashion gowns, trousers and shorts. In a related development, Chief Nike Davies-Okundaye who is the CEO of Nike Art Gallery, Lagos and who also has established art centres at ogidi in Kogi and Oshogbo in Osun is renowned for her adire style of the batik fabric.


Another type of fabric in Nigeria is the brocades. These are embroidered cotton materials that are waxed stamped and beaten with clubs to create a shiny look. Brocades are popularly known in the country as Guinea brocade (or sheeda in Hausa) and are usually used to sew free style kaftans. This kind of clothing material is very popular in the northern parts of the country.


Still on the list is Chiffon. Typically, this fabric is lightweight, slightly rough and comes in different degrees of transparency. Recent casual trends include combining chiffon fabrics with Ankara to make gowns and tops or with lace materials for occasions. Though it is not that popular, it’s one of the notable types of fabrics available in the country’s market.


Lace fabrics is a very popular name in the Nigerian fashion industry. There are different types of laces which come in a long list some of which include tulle, cord, paper, guipure, sequined, beaded, jute, George, and French laces. A good number of others come in combined colors, or in a combination of types for example tulle and guipure. Also, lining is being taken from a fabric of the same or contrasting color with the lace.


This is a soft type of fabric available in the country. This kind of clothing material is easily distinguished by its smooth, slippery and glossy nature. Silk is a natural fibre and is a major fabric at the national scene and also the international scale. The material is a choice material because it is gentle to the skin and a very comfortable thing to put on. A good number of Nigerians now show up at their tailors with bespoke styles of what they want, which is in preference to buying ready-made silk fabrics.


Tulle fabric is a lightweight material that is commonly used in ballet dresses, wedding gowns and veils. In recent years, some fashion designers have found a way to incorporate the netting into other materials like laces or in combination with other materials like Ankara to produce uncommon designs. This goes to show how the fabrics are very usable in the fashion line.


Velvet yet still another notable type of fabrics available in the country’s market. Coming to climax about three years ago, the fabric is still in vogue though it hit the fashion scene at a high rate as then. Velvet are typically shiny and have a furry feel which gives it a unique attraction.


That’s the size of this write-up, after we have been explicit on the fabrics that are in the Nigerian fashion industry. We specifically highlighted the different types of fabrics that are available in the Nigerian market.