The Funtua Project
The Funtua project started out of curiosity about Nigerian fabric, which led us on a search for locally made cotton. And the result is the most beautiful indigo dyed fabric that’s woven in Funtua, Katsina, and hand dyed in Kano at the centuries old Kofar Mata Dye pits.
“THIS IS FUNTUA” TEES
We use Funtua to make our iconic “This is Funtua” tees, our signature boxy t-shirt in indigo dyed Funtua cotton, with “This is Funtua, Nigerian made cotton” screen printed on.
The second edition is a flag design in discreet and bold options. The fabric for each shirt is hand-dyed in Nigeria’s ancient city, Kano, at the historic Kofar Mata dye pits and the shirts are constructed and screen printed at our workshops in Lagos Island, Africa’s most vibrant metropolis.
In line with our sustainability ethos, we create a revived tee and patchwork tee using the Funtua t-shirt to reduce fabric waste. Learn more about our low waste practices here. And, the T-shirt acts as a blank canvas for collaboration projects, like the recent black party collection designed with critically acclaimed flim maker, Abba T. Makama.
ORIGIN: 100% LOCALLY GROWN
Funtua is the market lingo for our cotton which gets its name from the town in Katsina (Funtua) where it is grown and spun. The textile mill, where the fabric is woven, has existed since Nigeria’s cotton industry boom in the 1970s, a joint venture between a Chinese manufacturer and Katsina’s government that boasts 90 percent local staff working under slow but deliberate conditions.
The raw cotton material is a long staple cotton between 30mm to 40mm grown across Nigeria; and cotton yarns are woven loosely using a traditional weave. This loose weave makes the cotton extremely breathable (think linen), malleable and soft (think gauze).
We are so excited to share this beautiful woven fabric with the world, it is available now in our online shop in different weights and four shades of indigo.
You can also get the fabric made in custom merchandise like our Funtua totes. Email us to find out more: email@example.com
NATURAL INDIGO DYEING:
Hand dyed at Kofar Mata dye pits, Kano, Nigeria
Our cotton fabric is dyed at Kofar Mata dye pits (since 1498) in natural indigo for either 2, 4, 6 or 8 hours depending on the shade. The bright indigo shade is dyed for 4 hours while the luxurious deep dark is dyed for 8 hours. In the craft of indigo dyeing, this means 5 mins in and 5 mins out for a total of 8 hours – the price of true indigo dyeing that lasts forever and appreciates with every wash.
Inspired by the workers at our textile mills, dye-pits, production worksops in Lagos and fellow creators and collaborators, we use Funtua to make Uniform wear, a collection of live work wear basics. The collection features our take on wardrobe staples like the long sleeve shirt, jacket, jalabiya, kaftan and shorts – everything you need to comfortably move from one moment to the next. We can’t wait to see how you wear and share it with the world.
And that’s just the beginning. We are always experimenting with Funtua, dreaming up new ways to interpret the fabric in everyday life. Subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on instagram to stay up to date on our journey.