A kanga is a traditional African wrap that is used by men and women alike throughout East Africa. Kangas originated in East Africa back in the 19th century. Although copied in many countries, a “genuine kanga” has 3 distinct characteristics – it’s 100% cotton; it’s made in East Africa; and it contains a Swahili proverb or saying. This Kanga diverges from the normal, It does not have a swahili saying.
The kanga is still evolving. Like the T-shirt, but incomparably more elegant and useful, it is a medium for personal, social and religious expression. As an art form, as well as a beautiful textile, the kanga has become an integral part of East African culture.
Made of 100% cotton, the Kanga is the “everything” cloth of Africa. They are used as skirts, dresses, head wraps, baby carriers, ground cloths, wall decorations, table cloths, and when worn out, cleaning cloths. Only your imagination limits the use of these simple, African lengths of fabric made of 100% cotton.
The traditional Kanga as sold in East Africa has two selvage edges and two raw edges and measures approximately 62″ wide by 42″ long. Each kanga is machine washable and the more it is washed the softer it will become!
This kanga was made in Kenya at Rivatex in Eldoret. Rivatex was well known all over Africa until the late 1990’s when it began its long struggle. Finally, it has risen again.