“Dear Diary,” said the Swedish designer- Victoria Pettersson Henry who began her new weekly chapter in Burkina Faso towards the varying fabric trend by taking part in the 1st edition of the International Cotton and Textile Fair (SICOT). She previously has been complementing African soil through her brand with inspirations of tribes, arts, travel and nature imposed on cloth. In aspect, SICOT show is an essential platform to breakthrough cotton processing that brings all cotton professionalists together towards organic and conventional cotton clothing development concerns to build a textile production value chain in Burkina Faso.
Victoria is the founder of Victoria Henry and Henry Rude brand. The founder sincerely wishes to make West African market buy her brand and realize that it’s natural and handmade with love motivated by African indigenous tribes and cultures.
Ergo, we jot down Henry’s amazing journey to enlighten the modern African style clothing stores and giving them insights into original African fashion products using local fabrics, textile techniques, and production.
Journey Summed Up In Her Words
At 8 a.m when the public is rushing to work, I get to catch up with The Tro-tros van. It took me to the bustling and vibrant Makola market- famous for selling wholesale materials and wonderful for fabric vendors. There are endless alleys with piles of colorful wax print fabric printed both locally and abroad. Unfortunately, I fall for prints which are not available in bulk, so I had to let go of my hand. Lately, I’ve been working more with artisans to produce batiks and woven textiles that could be re-made if I need more.
At noon, I filled my backpack (with about 36 yards of fabric), and now I’m hungry for vegan food. Nearly 1.30 p.m. I got my hand on hand-dyed & printed fabric as I passed by the Art Center. Being crazy for producing Batik on fabrics, I can’t find enough of genuine workshops and ateliers of artisans doing everything from wood carving to brass smithing, batik-printing, and tailoring. Winfred, the batik guy, is still putting some fabrics in a huge pot with water, boiling from the fire beneath, to remove the wax used during the printing process. By this time, fed up from the sun and I need to get back on the bus station before the rush-hour sets in.
Falling asleep in the Tro-tro van by 3.30 p.m. and latterly got back at my village station. My home is in Kokrobite, so I purposely visit the Art market only for getting my desired textiles.
This morning is all about my main man “Emmanuel,” the greatest tailor. I handed over my picked fabrics to him in Ghana so that he can produce some versatile styles as he’s champion in it. My production assistant Siaka at 4 p.m updated me on our new production in Burkina Faso. It’s “Ilkat”, the technique where the yarn bundles are tightly wrapped in a special way before dyeing, to get a specific pattern later on when weaving.
I visited my tailor in the afternoon to check out the samples I asked him to make. Emmanuel is a hard-working man, and he understands me better each time. I’m happy with the trousers and jackets he has made, so I don’t mind relaxing at home now with a good read.
Here’s to You
These were the initial highlights from the 3-day insider brand journey of Victoria. How much she fascinated us with her shopping experience. It looks like this week will be full of colorful Burkina Faso Dan Fani textiles! Can’t wait to buy some of them from organic African Style Clothing Stores.