Daboya indigo cloth (also known as fugu) is woven in the Daboya hamlet in northern Ghana and is the village’s principal export. It’s constructed of 100 percent cotton, mainly indigo and white with a pop of colour here and there.
This authentic hand woven cloth, which is somewhat thicker than machine woven cloth, is woven by hand into long thin strips that are then sewed together to produce a bigger completed material that is used to construct smocks, coats, hats, and other items.
Men do all of the dyeing, weaving, and sewing, while women prepare the raw cotton and spin it into thread. The unbleached cotton threads are woven into hanks before being dipped repeatedly in indigo vats, which are manufactured using the indigo leaf’s dye. The entire process takes a long time, and each strip is the result of many hours of labour. All of the boys in Daboya fugu weaving village want to be weavers when they grow up.
After the thread has been dyed and dried, the village weavers combine indigo and white threads (sometimes with a splash of crimson for accent) to weave 60-meter-long strips of cloth. The final strips are then carried to northern Ghana’s markets, most notably Bolgatanga, where tailors use them to make the traditional man’s smock.
Simple Indigo and white working smocks are still ubiquitous in Ghana, but more complex ceremonial smocks with embroidery are becoming harder to get by.
How The Fugu is Made Daboya Fugu Weaving Village
- The cotton is spun by women onto a spindle made from clay found near the river.
- An indigo dye pot is prepared with ashes of mor- dant to fix the dye onto the fabric, some acid & in- digo leaves. It is left to ferment for several days before using. The pit is usually 6-7 feet deep!
- The indigo dipped cotton is made into skeins and hung to dry.
- Daboya indigo cloth is weaved by hand on a loom.
- The strips are sewn together and made into ap- parel such as this stunning example on the left.
Ghana Travel Restrictions
Ghana is open to most travelers again. I mean travelers from all over the world. However, you do need proof of your COVID-19 vaccination(s) or a negative test result before being allowed entry.
Many hotels, attractions, and private tours are open with new health & safety protocols in place, and you still have to follow certain guidelines. They are all good for our safety.
Read the ultimate travel guide to Ghana to help you plan your trip.