Textiles in Ghana
Textiles in Ghana

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Textiles in Ghana

2.3 Making kente

Activity 3

Once you’ve watched the video, explain how kente is made.

Download this video clip.Video player: How is Kente made?
Skip transcript: How is Kente made?

Transcript: How is Kente made?

Catherine (VO)
We need to ask this question of any medium, in order to understand what is easily done and what is difficult. Skilled, expensive, innovative. We can’t hope to understand what Kente is, unless we can attempt to see it from the point of view of local producers and sellers and buyers.
Nana Asante Frempong PTC
An important decision which every weaver has to make is, what kind of cloth is he going to weave? Because it is the design that will determine the colours of the yarns that he has to put on the bobbin and, subsequently, on the wool.
The process, is to put the warp thread into the heddles and the beater and if you do according to the design that you already have in mind.
After putting the warp thread into the various heddles and beater, the whole thing is brought into a loom for the weaver to start to weave it.
There are two sets of heddles. The first set is used in making patterns and the second set is used in being regular weaving, where no patterns are required. Now, in this particular pattern, I’m using both the pattern-making heddles and the regular weaving heddles at the same time.
If you have time to watch the weaver do this piece here, it may take about half an hour or more just to do this piece. I do not know of any weaver who can produce more than this strip in a day of eight hours of hard work. It’s not possible.
And I can assure you that in any given village not more than 10% of the weavers are prepared to weave this, because it takes such a long time. It does!
End transcript: How is Kente made?
How is Kente made?
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371