Africa Fashion Guide
A social enterprise promoting sustainability within Africa's fashion and textile industry.


March 19th, 2012

‘Style Africa’ – Celebrating the Textile Heritage of West Africa – EVENT

‘Style Africa’ opens at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

A fascinating new exhibition exploring the rich heritage of West African textiles opens at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery 31 March 2012. Style Africa presents visitors with the changing traditions of woven, embroidered, printed and dyed clothing and textiles from West Africa, focussing on some of the most beautiful textiles produced from the early 20th century to 2011.

Style Africa is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Young Roots programme. It is created in partnership with Birmingham Institute of Art and Design (BIAD) at Birmingham City University, the Centre of West African Studies at the University of Birmingham and the Drum Arts Centre. Through these organisations, young people were invited to collaborate with the expert curators from Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery to create new ways to present the significant West African textile collection from the museum, the University of Birmingham and Craftspace.

Curator of World Cultures at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery Adam Jaffer comments,

“Style Africa is a unique exhibition, presenting some of the region’s most beautiful and diverse traditional and contemporary West African textiles. The project has provided us with an opportunity to engage young people and Birmingham’s diverse communities, and showcase the incredible textile heritage of English-speaking West Africa, particularly Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.”

2002A83 Maba Super Print, Nigeria c.1990 – Courtesy of Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.'

Image Courtesy of Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.

GTP Wax Print, Ghana 2011 – Courtesy of Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.

GTP Wax Print, Ghana 2011 – Courtesy of Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.

GTP Wax Print, Ghana 2011 – Courtesy of Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.

The exhibition explores the traditional and contemporary textiles and clothing which form an essential part of West African culture. Using kente cloth, adinkra cloth, adire cloth (tie and dye), aso oke, as well as wax print cloth collected in Ghana in 2011, Style Africa focuses on different textile techniques and the ways in which clothing can communicate identity and individual style. The exhibition also includes contemporary outfits designed in the UK and made using West African prints.

Style Africa is free to visit  and forms part of the London 2012 Inspire programme which recognises innovative and exceptional projects that are directly inspired by the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Tell us if you visit this exhibition and what you think.

Daily Opening Hours:

Monday – Thursday 10.00am – 5.00pm

Friday 10.30am – 5.00pm

Sat 10.00am – 5.00pm

Sunday 12.30pm – 5.00pm



31 March 2012 – 2 September 2012



Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery,

Chamberlain Square, Birmingham, B3 3DH



For more information, visit



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