AFRITUDE 101: African Streetwear Fashion. Making a Business out of it.

I designed a duster jacket with a baby blue solid fabric and 100% cotton wax.

I am une NanaBenz, and it is only normal that I try to incorporate wax material into many of the clothes I make. With V&VI, the journey so far has been creating cool t-shirts, sweaters, bombers, and jackets to infuse into your everyday style. The vision right now is unisex, and with every new collection, we strive to improve the technique used in combining different materials. I will talk about two techniques here, and in my next post, we will go the basics and learn how to shop for an Afritude t-shirt.

  1. The easiest method will be to place the wax design directly over the t-shirt.  If you do not want to go through the fuss of cutting out your t-shirts and resewing, you can just cut out your design and sew it on top of the t shirt. However, you still need to worry about producing a good-looking product because with this technique, you can end up with bulky bits (puffed out designs that were not intentional).

For example, imagine you want to add a heart on the middle of your shirt. You place the cut-out design on your shirt and start sewing, without paying attention to adjusting the fabric every 2 inches. Once you are done, you will realize things are not flat and seamless. It will not look neat; more like something done by an amateur that is not representative of your brand.

You are working with more bulkiness here since the original fabric is still part of the game; so even though this is the easiest method, it could end up a disaster if not well heeded to.

Example of a t-shirt designed using Technique 1. We just placed strips of fabric directly over the shirt.

2. The method I prefer is to integrate the wax with the t-shirt. This method is definitely more work and takes attention and time, but the results are cleaner and more professional. Start off by designing how you want your t-shirt to look. Cut out all relevant pieces. Then cut out the corresponding sections on the t-shirt. Carefully sew everything together.

The keyword is careful because you do not want to end up with fabric that has been pulled tight, thus creating unevenness. Or you do not want gaps either.

This method definitely requires more professional expertise, but when done right, your finished product is so beautiful and seamless. It will not look like a customized product. It will look like the t-shirt was manufactured that way.

To create this look, we cut out the relevant sections from the t-shirt before inserting the design. When you look at it, it feels like the shirt was originally created with the design and that is what we were going for.

Now, you go ahead and choose which method makes the most sense to you. Both require lots of attention and dexterity. Let me know in the comment section what finished products you created.

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