Transforming Classical African Textile Print Designs To Meet Contemporary Trends

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Wax prints and the non-wax prints were the earliest textile prints exported to Ghana by the Europeans. These prints, which are commonly referred to as classical prints were largely used by Ghanaians during the 19th and the 20th century. As time went on, design preference changed and textile producers adapted more creative ways in designing that satisfied the taste and demands of textile consumers. This in turn gave rise to contemporary designs that were quickly embraced by the public especially the youth. The purpose of the study was to widen the scope of African print designs by creating new designs that incorporate classical and contemporary design concepts. Samples of African prints were observed and interviews conducted to determine the reason why people prefered either classical or contemporary prints. The findings led to the development of new designs named “classicon”. The “classicon” prints combine the elements, principles and philosophy of both the classical and the contemporary designs. The study recommends that textile designers should consider the integration of symbolism and aesthetics in textile designing.
A Thesis submitted to the Department of Industrial Art, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Fine Art in Textile Design.