3 Black women wearing dashiki clothing and face paint. Black background.

What is a Dashiki ?


Renowned Fashion Blogger Zo Zo Jones

Talks about Dashiki.

African dashiki are colourful loose fitting v necked garments similar to
tunics. They originated in West Africa and were originally worn
predominantly by men though nowadays are worn by pretty much
everyone! The name dashiki comes from the word “danshiki” or dan ciki
which means “shirt” in Hausa and Yoruba, both languages spoken in West
Africa, specifically Nigeria. There are various print styles, known as the
famous ‘Angelina’ and Nsu Bura print.

woman wearing blue dashiki dress
Gorgeous Dashiki cotton

Who created the ‘Angelina’ print on fabric ?

The popular ‘Angelina’ design print was created by a Dutch Vlisco textile
designer in the19th century based on the original Ethiopian noble woman
tunic print. Though inspired by Africa, the Vlisco technique using Wax
Hollandais, Super-Wax and Java is derived from Indonesian Batik and is
designed in the Netherlands.

Ankara Style dress worm by a black model with a blue background.
Ankara Style Dress

What was the dashiki used for ?

Dashiki originated as a type of print cloth used to make shirts then
progressed into other styles of dress. There are various styles of dashiki
from short v necked tunic covering the upper body to full length robes and
matching trouser and shirt.

When did the dashiki become popular ?

The dashiki dress became widely popular in the West in the 60’s, particularly in
the USA, as symbolic of the African/American struggle. It was
manufactured in Harlem, New York during this time and became
increasingly popular after being featured in film and media.
Dashiki style

African dashiki
Khanya Mtshali talks about Dashiki in the 1960s

Who wears Dashiki print ?

In recent times dashiki style has become increasingly ‘trendy’ since being
spotted on celebrities such as Beyonce and Rihanna.
Dashiki African clothing styles have become very popular among African
American communities today. These unique and dynamic prints are also
hugely versatile and can be worn in a number of ways.
latest kitenge fashion

What is Dashiki made from ?

man wearing dashiki print black tshirt
Man’s Dashiki Shirt

While the traditional dashikis were often embroidered the more usual
everyday dashikis are made from cotton, a light weight comfortable
garment that is ideal in the summer or worn in any warm climate.
As the dashiki style continues to gain popularity it has been transformed
into many other styles including accessories, home decor, shoes etc