Origin and History of Aso-Oke Fabric

The “elegant” Aso oke (AH-SHAW-OKAY) is a patterned cloth, hand-woven by the Yoruba people of South-West Nigeria. Literally, aso-oke means ‘top cloth’ or ‘high cloth’ or “clothing for prestige’ / ‘prestigious cloth’(translated to English), and is a ceremonial clothing worn on special occasions during special such as chieftaincy ceremonies, parties, weddings, christening/ naming ceremony, traditional festivals and other important occasions. The aso-oke is also the cloth for royalty, worn by the Obas (Kings).

I’m sure you might wonder why the aso-oke was called the ‘top cloth’ or ‘clothing for prestige’, it may interest you to know that, aside from being a clothing attire, the aso-oke was worn as a symbol, or to showcase prestige and wealth in the ancient Yoruba hemisphere.

Actually, the real beauty of Aso-Oke comes out more when it is taken as “Aso-Ebi,” this means ( a group of people e.g. friends, families e.t.c). Cloth weaving (Aso-Oke) started centuries ago amongst the Yoruba’s but predominantly amongst the Iseyin’s (Oyo-State), Ede (Osun State) and Okene Kogi State. The fibres used for weaving are either locally sourced or brought from neighboring states (northern parts of the country)

TYPES OF ASO-OKE

There are so many different types and kinds of aso-oke, to mention some are below.

– ETU – STRIPPED DARK BLUE
– SANYAN -CARTON BROWN WITH WHITE STRIPES
– ALAARI – CRIMSOM 
– EYA – LACED
– TAKUNSI – (CLOTH WITH DIFFERENT PATTERN)
– POPO – ELEPO
– ALAAGBA
– LACE
– CHECK
– DAMASK
– PLAIN & PATTERN
– PRINTS
– KENTE-OKE
– BIG & SMALL LOOM
– SILK

CHOOSING YOUR COMBINATION COLOURS

Many of us are, well, color-challenged. We know what colors we like, but we’re not always sure that this color goes with that one. Trying to choose your wedding colors may seem a bit daunting, especially if you aren’t particularly visually oriented or your partner is color-blind and absolutely no help. Yet it’s really quite easy.

Some people base their wedding colors on a favorite shade or favorite flower. You’ll want to choose one primary and one or two accents. Start off by seeing if there are any predetermined factors:

  1. Are you set on having a particular flower?
  2. Have you already chosen your bridesmaid dresses? 
  3. What colors are the families choosing as their aso-ebi? 
  4. Have you already chosen the colors for the reception or ceremony site?
  5. Does either the reception or ceremony site have strong colors

If so, you’re halfway to finding your wedding colors. If not, start by thinking about the season when your ceremony will take place. Harmattan affairs usually include bright colors such as wine, turquoise and pink. Dry season suggests deep colors like purples, burgundies, grey-greens, and silvers. Rainy season brings harvest tones – oranges, reds, and yellows.

Some matching color combinations for the aso-oke are stated bellow.

These are fabric color that has been ascertained to be soothing over time when used or made as clothing together.

– aqua blue & baby pink
– aqua blue & wine
– aqua blue & peach
– aqua blue & gold
– army green & yellow
– army green & mint green
– army green & baby pink
– army green & cream
– army green & champagne gold
– black & white
– bronze & butter
– bronze & champagne gold
– bronze & orange
– bronze & turquoise
– bronze & silver
– burgundy & champagne gold
– burgundy & powder blue
– burgundy & cream
– burgundy & peach
– burgundy & golden butter
– coffee brown & carton brown
– coffee brown & gold
– coffee brown & peach
– coffee brown & cream
– coffee brown & pink
– coffee brown & turquoise 
– coffee brown & mint green
– coffee brown & orange
– coffee brown & powder blue
– chocolate brown & carton brown
– chocolate brown & gold
– chocolate brown & peach
– chocolate brown & cream
– chocolate brown & pink
– deep carton brown & green
– chocolate brown 


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