Traditional African fabric and fashion promotes culture, style and status. The Yoruba people attach considerable importance to their appearance in the public. To them, it is socially necessary for both men and women to be well groomed at social events and one's dress must fit the occasion. This is perhaps the reason why the Yoruba say aso la nki, ki a to ki eniyan, meaning “it is the cloth we should greet before greeting the wearer” and eniyan lasoo mi, that is “people are my cloth.” The Yoruba also say, ‘Ibere osi, bi oloro ni ri; ti wo aso ile r’oko’ (It is poverty that forces a poor man to wear his best cloths to the farm); ‘Eni ti ko se bi alaaru l’Oyingbo, ko le se bi Adegboro l’Oja Oba’ (He that would not labour at Oyingbo market, would not purchase anything at King’s Market). These proverbs indicate the need to dress according to one’s station in life and according to societal bounds of decorum.
ASO EBI: FAMILY CLOTH
Festivals and dress are inseparable. Each festival has special fabrics associated with it. The most important and universal use of fabric is Aso ebi. Aso ebi is when a group wears a chosen cloth as a uniform dress to commemorate or celebrate an event or occasion. It is seen as strong expression of communal, solidarity and love.
In that regard, men and women of various age groups will choose their cloths according to their rank and status. Style of dress shows that one is wealthy, cultured and belong to a special class. In the kingdom of Ijebu, for example, religious or cultural groups might appear at a major festival in traditional aso oke fabrics like etu, alaari, sanyan. These categories of aso oke fabrics are prestigious and functions as ceremonial cloths. The fabric is woven in strips which are woven using local wild silk fiber. They carry social significance among the Yoruba which makes them suitable for events such as chieftaincy and festivals.
Yoruba women use aso-oke as oja (girdle), iro (wrapper), gele, (head-tie), buba (blouse) and ipele (shawl) or iborun which is usually hung on the shoulder of the user. Yoruba men wear a complete suits consisting of sokoto (trousers), buba (top), agbada (large embroidered flowing gown) and fila (cap).
Aso-oke is highly valued as special gift for dignified people. We cannot overlook the importance of aso-oke as a wedding gift for the bride’s family. It can also be used to placate the witches. Aso-Oke is also used for religious purposes as egungun costume. Aso-oke is also used as a sacred cloth by the ogboni society among the Ijebu-Yoruba. it is referred to as itagbe, an insignia of the Ogboni. It is used to cover some religious objects and used as shrine decoration. 
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ANKARA: AFRICAN WAX PRINTS
While the aso oke is considered the king of cloths and is reserved for special occasions, there are also basic cloths that play an important role in the life and culture of Yoruba people. Basic cloths are those produced for everyday use. They can be made with traditional hand spun thread or with industrial threads to produce lighter cloth that can be used as cover cloths, casual wrappers to be worn to markets, baby ties, work and play clothes among others. Cloth under this category include; Kijipa or Ikale, Oja and Ala.
African wax prints - ANKARA- are the newest addition to the spectrum of traditional fabric and fashion. They are industrially produced, colorful cotton cloths with batik-inspired printing. One feature of these materials is the lack of difference in the color intensity of front and back side. Ankara can be sorted into categories of quality due to the processes of manufacturing. 
In Sub-Sahara Africa ankara is the most popular textiles. The process to make wax print is originally influenced by batik, an Indonesian (Javanese) method of dyeing cloth by using wax-resist techniques. During the Dutch colonization of Indonesia, Dutch merchants and administrators became familiar with the batik technique. The Dutch wax prints quickly integrated themselves into African apparel. Women used the fabrics as a method of communication and expression, with certain patterns being used as a shared language, with widely understood meanings. Many patterns began receiving catchy names. Over time, the prints became more African-inspired, and African-owned by the mid-twentieth century. They also began to be used as formal wear by leaders, diplomats, and the wealthy population.
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Before the 1960s most of the African wax fabric sold in West and Central Africa was manufactured in Europe. Today, Africa is home to the production of high quality wax prints. Manufacturers across Africa include ABC Wax, Woodin, Uniwax, Akosombo Textiles Limited (ATL), and GTP (Ghana Textiles Printing Company); the latter three being part a part of the Vlisco Group. These companies have helped reduce the prices of African wax prints in the continent when compared to European imports. 
Since festivals and religious ceremonies draw crowds and help create community, they can serve as grounds for reinforcing our cultural values. Most important among the values of Yoruba people- especially orisa devotees- is cottage industries, like weaving, tailoring and entrepreneurship. Yoruba traditional dress should be promoted in traditional festivals in order to preserve our dressing norms and prevent acculturation of western garments.
1. Aso-Oke Production and Use Among the Yoruba of Southwestern Nigeria. Makinde D.Olajide Ajiboye, Olusegun Jide & Ajayi Babatunde Joseph
2. Role of Dress in Socio-cultural Events Among the IjebuYoruba, Ogun State , Nigeria. Diyaolu I.J