Ashanti Designs – consistently inconsistent - Muntu Design

Ashanti Designs – consistently inconsistent

Par Aline Muntu - 27 July 2017

Ashanti Designs is driven by a deep passion for Africa, its people traditional craft, and environment. Its design celebrates Africa’s contemporary spirit that can only really be felt: seeing beauty in its chaos, survival in its resourcefulness and creativity in its consistent inconsistencies.

From how their materials are sourced to the way they are made and who makes them, Ashanti products proudly represent the resourcefulness, vibrance and outlook of Africa’s colours.

Turning waste into wonder to reduce our earth-impact

Making something out of nothing is at the heart of the African way. Ashanti fabric is hand-woven from the fibres of perfectly good fabric that would otherwise be sent to landfill. All by hand.

Fabric with a conscience

The fibre of Ashanti colourful fabric originates from t-shirt offcuts; perfectly good material that would otherwise go to landfill.

It’s no quick process creating the fabric our products are made from. It’s an intricate labour of love hand-woven from tradition, pride and the incredible artistry of the remote villagers who make it happen.
Here is how products are made from original source to shopfloor
Last year Ashanti sorted, stripped and tied (wait for it) 19 million six hundred thousand meters of colourful weft thread. Then we weaved it into 62,000 meters of our signature fabric.

A future for African craft

Ashanti is not much without the artisans they collaborate with. The techniques and tools they use to make Ashanti goods have been passed down for decades. It’s an amazing culture that Ashanti is proud to share with the world. By bringing Ashanti contemporary style to their traditional workmanship, they keep an incredible craft alive and help future generations succeed.

Afronomical all the way

This is Africa! Ashanti artisans lead particularly modest lives, based pretty much in the middle of nowhere. Ashanti believes in doing their best to strengthen their livelihoods and in making a positive ‘Afronomical’ contribution at large. From craftsmen to transportation partners and manufacturers, the Ashanti team is all-African.

Upcycled products and hand-woven – Yours is the only one!

As an owner of an Ashanti design, you too become woven into a community where your choice of style is kind and conscious.

Because all Ashanti products are lovingly handmade to the highest quality standards, every single item is original. No two are quite the same – every inch is made from upcycled cotton that’s woven into existence by hand, each item is unique – just like you!

  • Beanbags

These are no ordinary beanbags. On top of being soft, stylish and sustainable, Ashanti designed a super-comfy range to give you that ‘chill out’ feeling whether you’re working, vegging, or snuggling up.

  • Ashanti Lampshades – A vibrant celebration of the African heart and craft.

Made by talented artisans living in remote, rural villages, Ashanti lampshades are uniquely inspired by traditional African living. While they use age-old tools and techniques, Ashanti designs are inspired by their natural surroundings and the simple ways of village life. From metal fishing baskets to tribal headdresses, and mud huts to inverted baskets, Ashanti lampshades are a contemporary celebration of traditional living. Ashanti lampshades come in many colour, texture, and size combinations, which can all be customized to suit your imagination:

  • the Kitamba range: Ashanti fabric range; the eco-conscious fabric, dyed with several colours;
  • the Rafia range: natural grass-like material made from the leaves of the Raffia Palm; a large palm tree that thrives in tropical Africa. Strong, flexible and easy to dye, raffia is a valuable resource that our weavers have age-old experience with. Get creative with colour combinations to create your very own wire-framed raffia lampshades. They work beautifully indoors or in covered outdoor spaces
  • the Mitende range: strong, light, and beautifully textured, Ashanti wicker lampshades are meticulously handmade from a variety of natural plant materials found locally to their artisans, including palm leaf and raffia. From tight weaves to open plaits, each shape, pattern and technique is specific to a tribe or village, having been developed and passed down for generations;
  • the Mbuni range: These lights are delicately carved into shape from the eggs of Ostriches – huge, flightless birds, native to Africa. Our artisans hand-paint the eggshells, then use waterpaper to gently sand the top layer off. The natural indentations in the shell hold the paint, creating a textured, speckled effect. Get creative with your colour choices and warm up your space with the soft, glowing light that these elegant African artworks give off.
  • Tha Waya range: handmade from strong, spot-welded wire, these uncovered frames can be coated with a corrosion-resistant epoxy in almost any colour. Ideal if you’re after a more minimalist African style.
  • Seating

Beautifully handmade from sustainably sourced Malawian wood and wicker, Ashanti traditional African chairs are strong, sturdy and unbelievably comfortable.

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