Enhancing Indigenous Woven Fabrics for Suit-Making in Ghana
Keywords:indigenous woven fabric, suiting materials, suit making, design, climatic conditions
The study analysed the three traditional weaving techniques and woven fabrics (Kente, Fugu, and Kete) in the Ashanti, Northern, and Volta regions respectively. The objective was to examine imported suiting fabrics, suit making and these traditional weaving techniques to design lightweight local suiting fabrics responsive to Ghanaian climatic conditions for suit making. The qualitative research collected data from documentary studies and field research. The research area consisted of traditional weavers, in the Ashanti, Volta, and Northern regions of Ghana, and fashion and suit designers, in Accra and Kumasi. The sweat problem identified is heavy suiting with compact, high thread count weaves, and unbreathable, hydrophobic linings with foam padded shoulders purposely designed to help retain the heat of the human body. To reverse these trends, a lower thread count was used to enhance easy ventilation and to function differently from the foreign-suiting fabrics. Major changes made were; the dull suiting fabrics’ colours changed to brighter colours; multiple hydrophobic lining to single hydrophilic lining, and a little change in suit construction by the incorporation of shaping lines, openings, and ventilation darts. The results were the textured novelty suiting fabrics, designed in, style, and colour brilliance, with geometric designed forms for the construction of the newly airy structural suiting fabrics receptive to tropical climatic conditions for the suit-making produced. Based on the new model it is recommended that the cut woven fabrics be stiffened to establish a perfect seam and that further exploratory research be made to enhance and localize varied suiting fabrics.