Archive for the ‘African’ Category

Celebrating African Fabric Textile Contributions !



As Americans celebrate the inventions and legacies of Africans / African-Americans throughout history this month, reflections of their art, history and cultural traditions can be found in almost every aspect of our society. In recognition of their traditional African fabric textile contributions,  the J&O Family would like to take a moment to highlight some of the beautiful waxed prints and metallics available for your crafting and quilting pleasure.

Her Name Is Indigo.



When we think about African fabric design, rarely do we as consumers give much thought as to the history, craft, and meaning behind the symbols, patterns, or design elements we see. Instead we ‘ooh‘ and ‘aah‘ at the bright colors and creative print, thinking about what we can make with this, what we can do with that . But until we have the opportunity to see its manifestation from concept to completion, we will never really appreciate the finished textile  that seems to silently whisper…i am special, buy me!


Celebrate Women’s History Month With J&O Fabrics


March 8, 1911 marked the first celebrated International Women’s Day in many European nations as well as the United States. Women from around the globe gathered to talk about women’s rights and their place in society. From their historic presence in the Bible and contributions throughout history, to their movements in modern day society, many womens’ groups focused their energies around areas of substance, passion and purpose.  Books were written, organizations were formed, many even sparked protests and debates that created lively conversation and shifts in the norm that some were not ready for.

Celebrate Contributions and Achievements of African-Americans with J&O Fabrics

With Black History Month officially kicking off this week, we thought it would be the perfect time to celebrate the multitude of contributions and achievements African-Americans have made toward the advancement of not only our country, but the human race as a whole in the fields of science, math, athletics, literature, medicine, technology, agriculture, art, music and more. From our farmer’s bible…aka…the Almanac created by Benjamin Banneker (appx 1791) , and clothes dryer by G.T. Sampson (1862),  to the ever popular cell phone invented by Henry Sampson (1971) and house keeping friend …the dust pan, by Lawrence P Ray (1897), the list of ‘firsts’ invented by African Americans goes on and on. Each year since it’s inception,  Black History month has been drawing more recognition to the achievements of the past, encouraging more creative ideas and first’s to come in the future, and offering exposure to the faces and stories our books have often left out in its attempt at rewriting American HIS-story.

Category Of The Month: African Fabric

Widely appreciated for their craftsmanship and vibrant colors, the textile and designs of African fabric often create the kind of appeal that inspires breathtaking traditional garments,  eclectic home  decor, memorable celebratory events  and more. From waxed metallic cottons most popular in Nigeria and other West African countries, to traditional Kente from Ghana and Bogolanfini mud cloth from Mali, the creative uses offer a multitude of options to satisfying an array of project needs not only for special occasions, but everyday use as well.

Baltimore Fashion Week 2013

jandofabricsA few weeks ago, fashionistas young and seasoned, beautiful models, and the media alike converged on the city of Baltimore Maryland for the 6th Annual Baltimore Fashion Week (Aug 8-11, 2013) to get a sneak peak into what some of our notable and up-and-coming designers are dishing out for the season ahead; and what a showcase of color and creativity it was!

3-Step No-Sew Lion Pillow Tutorial!

This is a quick and fun family fabric craft with just 3 simple steps! While the photo shown below is a lion (Simba) shared by Family Fun Magazine–you may easily alter the pieces to make another animal or even a bright sunflower. Begin by choosing some soft fleece fabric and let the good times roar!

No sew lion pillow

Photograph by Mark Mantegna of Family Fun Magazine

You will need:
• Fleece fabric. Choose red or maroon and yellow or orange for Simba. You will also need brown fleece and white fleece for the facial expressions and eyes.
• Cotton batting or fiberfill stuffing
• Yarn
• Hot glue
•Pencil and scissors

African Inspired Prints

Namib DesertAfrica is such a beautiful and diverse country teeming with amazing wildlife, rivers, mountains and deserts. The cultural history of the continent and its people dates back to the cradle of civilization. Fabric in Africa has a millennial story behind it. It truly is sacred to the culture. Philosophy, ethics, morals and history are all conveyed through each thread. Not only are the patterns valued as a means to communicate a message but also the colors that are chosen are significant.

J&O Fabric of the Week Award: Kwanzaa Patchwork

With the turn of a New Year marking Imani (faith) and the last day of Kwanzaa, what better design to honor with the ‘Fabric of the Week’ award than our very own festive Kwanzaa Patchwork print!

Founded by Maulana Karenga in 1965, this cultural holiday was created to reinforce traditional African American values like community, spirituality and kinship. Stemming from the Swahili phrase ‘mantunda yo kwanza’, the name means simply ‘first fruits’ or the ‘fruits of the harvest’. Kwanzaa is a non-political, non-religious holiday uniting those with African roots in America.

Celebrated from December 26th until January 1st, Kwanzaa festivities revolve around seven principles (nguzo saba) that are the foundation of a strong community. These include:

Umoja (unity)

Kujichagulia (self-determination)
Ujima (collective work and responsibility)
Ujamaa (cooperative economics)
Nia (purpose)
Kuumba (creativity)
Printed on an extra wide 60” cotton, our Kwanzaa Patchwork is a great fabric to use for table dressings, curtains, fabric gift wraps, book covers and more. The images include: a Kwanzaa mat (mkeka) symbol of history and tradition, corn ears (vibunzi) symbolic of the number of children in each celebrating household, seven candles (misumaa saba) represent the Nguzo Saba in the African Liberation Flag colors of red, black and green, and the Unity cup (kikomba cha umoja) used to pour homage to those that have passed on.

Posts by J&O

Ask Netfah: What Fabric Best For Headwrapping?

Dear Netfah,

I just recently came back from a trip to Africa and was amazed at some of the beautiful head dresses the women wore there. I am interested in duplicating the look and have seen some “How To” videos on Youtube that seem helpful in getting me started. From your online caricature pic, I figured you also wear some type of head covering and wanted your opinion on the type of fabric best suited for the style. I am looking to start off with probably a versatile color like black or white that I can wear with various outfits, and something that will not slip off too easily. I also need to know how much yardage I should consider buying to create the look I am going for. Not too high, yet not “bandanna” style either. Any assistance you can offer would be greatly appreciated.


Africa Adorned from Tennessee, USA