Preparing for end-of-year events? Here are Nigeria’s top nine textile markets

Textiles used to illustrate the story.
Textiles used to illustrate the story.

Nigerians are fashionable people who take advantage of parties, celebrations or festivals to buy clothes.

This has become a trend politicians, elites, church members and social group members also use for making impressions.

The colourful and well decorated Ankara fabric has become synonymous with every political and social campaign in the country, and they come in different colours, brands and sometimes pictures of people or logos.

Clothes used for making statements are not just Ankara. They also include lace, Ankara, Da-Viva, George, Chiffon, African voile, Guinea Brocade, Gele and fila (head gears and Caps) Aso ofi, also known as Aso Oke, and so many others.

It has become a norm for celebrants or their families to pick one or more of these textiles as uniform to celebrate their events.

This uniform is usually referred to “aso ebi” by most Nigerians. Aso ebi was derived from a Yoruba word meaning “clothes for the family”.

Nowadays, aso-ebi has become a fashion statement which at times depicts class, and status of the celebrants and their associates.

The price for an aso-ebi depends on the financial status of the celebrant and their friends, their outlook of life and the statements they want to make with their events.

The materials are either sold per yard or in bundles. Here are the nine markets in Nigeria to buy bulk Aso-ebis if you ever need them, especially as the year is coming to a close.

1. Balogun Market- This market is located in Lagos Island, and is also known as Eko market. It is notable for clothing materials of all kinds especially expensive imported lace materials, wrappers, Ankara and new designs.

The market is also known to cater for the rich who want exclusive designs or do not want replication of their print in the general market until they are done with their events.

2. Kanti – Kwari Market – This is one of the biggest textile markets in Nigeria. Located in the heart of Kano town, the market is notable for varieties of textile materials including Guinea Brocade, Ankara, among others.

The market is also a hub for clothes traders who come from various towns to buy clothes for retail.

Clothes from this market are relatively cheap and people come from all over the country and some neighbouring African countries to buy textiles.

3. Bola Ige Market (known as New Gbagi International Market) – This is one of the largest clothes market in the south western part of Nigeria.

It is located in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State.

The market serves clothes sellers from neighboring states. It is usually opened six days a week, (Mondays to Saturdays).

The market is notable for different types of materials including Ankara, lace, voile, chiffon and numerous cheap clothing material.

4. Onitsha main market – This market mainly serves people from the southern and eastern part of the country.

It is a very large market with varieties of clothing materials, tailoring materials and accessories for design finishing.

Onitsha main market is also a hub for retailers who come from all over to purchase to resell.

Depending on your bargaining prowess, you can buy clothes, tailoring materials and accessories at relatively cheap prices.

5. Aso Ofi Market, Ede — Ofi, also known as Aso Oke, is a traditional Yoruba hand woven loom. The clothes have become synonymous across the country for head gears, gele and caps, fila in ceremonies especially among brides and grooms.

A bridal clothe is not complete especially during the traditional marriage without these attire.

Ofi market in Ede can boast of varieties as traders come from all over every 15 days to showcase their wares and meet customers.

This market is located at Ede, an ancient town not far from the Osun state capital, Osogbo.

The good thing about this market is that it gives the customers an avenue to interact with the weavers and create their styles and colours at considerate prices.

For bulk buy and direct supply from the weavers, that market is one of such places to visit.

6. Ariaria Market, Aba – This list would not be complete without mentioning this ever bustling international market in Aba.

Just like the Onitsha main market, this market caters for the same set of traders and buyers.

The market can boast of all sort of fabrics ranging from local to international. Its stocks clothes from almost every available source.

Cheap, original and unique materials are often available at the market.

6. Relief Market, Upper Iweka Onitsha -This is one of the big markets in the south east where you can buy variety of things ranging from food stuff to clothing materials. The market is located in Onitsha, Anambra state.

7. Aleshinloye — This market is noted for unique tailoring materials, plain materials, accessories and expensive imported laces.

If you are thinking about importing expensive unique lace, voile among other, that is a market to visit. It is located in Ibadan, Oyo state.

8. Old Gbagi market- The old Gbagi is located in Ibadan. It was the main gbagi market before it was relocated to the new site to give room for expansion.

However, some of the traders are still there. It is still a beehive of activities as clothes especially laces ranging from different prices and colours are available.

It also caters for Ankara materials, such as aso oke among others.

9. Iseyin aso oke market- This market is just like the one in Ede.

Iseyin is located in Oyo state. The town is noted for aso oke and almost every house has a weaver.

Many retailers visit this town to order aso oke for resale. If you want to start the business or looking to meet the weavers, this town is certainly the place to visit.


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