Chitenji is a type of colorful, patterned cotton fabric that is common in many African countries like Malawi and Zambia. Locally, chitenji is used for everything from making clothing, to wrapping skirts, to carrying infants. It is sold by unit length in shops or sizable open markets. The types of patterns that one can find on pieces of chitenji are extremely numerous meaning that you rarely see the exact same pattern twice. As you can see from the photos on this site and the items on our Etsy page, the patterns are also very intricate and quite beautiful. Because of the intricacies of the patterns and the sheer amount of different styles, each piece of clothing that we sell here art THREEafrica is almost guaranteed to be unique. Please browse our site for more information about THREEafrica or visit our shop to purchase authentic chitenji items.
We purchase all of the fabric that we use from local markets. Most of our stock comes from the Old Market in Lilongwe, Malawi's capitol. The Old Market is a sort of walled, bustling, and dense aggregation of shops and stalls. One can find anything from dried fish to used books to chitenji in the Old Market. Below are portraits of some of the chintenji vendors that we've purchased from.