Tie the wrapper wrongly and you’ll discover that you won’t walk ten steps without it getting in your way and pulling you to the ground. There’s an art to tying a perfect wrapper – especially the Igbo double wrapper. The most difficult part of tying the two-piece wrapper is getting the inner wrapper right, so that you are comfortable walking in it.
More About the Nigerian Wrappers
The Nigerian wrapper is one that the Western (Oyinbo) fashion will never replace, because it is loved by women of all ages, even worn by women in other West African countries.
Every bride-to-be needs to learn how to tie a perfect wrapper because, after you’re married, you’ll be required / expected to tie wrappers to a Nigerian occasion, event, town meetings and even to Church (nothing looks more glamorous than showing up in a wrapper, Gele and a gorgeous statement beaded necklace. You’d look out of place in some big occasions, wearing western fashion.
By the way, in Nigeria, the men also tie wrappers as a cultural attire – well, not all Nigerian men, but those from the Eastern (Igbos) and South Eastern (Niger Delta) also tie wrappers to traditional/ cultural occasions and events. And they look really gorgeous, often in George (fabric) wrappers.
Classic Nigerian Wrapper Styles for Women
The are two classic ways Nigerian women tie their wrappers, and the wrapper style is characteristic, or an identity, of specific geographic regions in Nigeria. So, just by looking at the style a woman ties her wrapper, you can tell what part of Nigeria she is from.
1. YORUBA STYLE WRAPPER: The single wrapper style is the way the Yorubas and Hausas tie their wrappers. The Yoruba style wrapper is a single piece of cloth/ wrapper, called “Iro” (in Yoruba language) is worn over a classic, long-sleeved blouse, known as ‘buba”. The Iro and Buba are often worn together and called “Iro and Buba”, usually sewn with fabrics of lace, the traditional hand-woven cloth (Aso Oke) and even ankara (African prints),
2. IGBO STYLE WRAPPER (Two-Piece / Double Wrapper): The double-wrapper style or two-step wrapper or layered wrappers, consisting of two-piece wrappers, each piece layered over the other, is how the Igbo women and women from the Middle-belt and South-Eastern Nigerian states tie their wrappers to community meetings and occasions. The Ibo double wrapper is often worn over stylishly sewn blouses (often of lace fabric) and an Ichafu (or Gele head-tie). The Igbo women wear double wrappers in george fabric, ankara (Vlisco Hollandais, ABC or other).
Tulip/ Knot Wrapper Style: Modern Twists to Tieing Nigerian Wrapper
Recent, modified double-wrapper style in Nigeria included the skirt-wrapper, which is sewn like the Western wrap skirt. This wrapper style doesn’t require a learning curve and is loved by both the older and younger women alike.
The inner wrapper is usually in a mermaid-style/ fish-tail style skirt. Then a piece of wrapper is tied over the skirt-style wrapper. The finished look is a double-wrapper: on the outside it looks like you’re wearing a double igbo-wrapper. In fact, someone may hardly tell that you’re not wearing a “real” double wrapper. This wrapper style is common with George material/ fabric, and looks gorgeous too.
This modern skirt wrapper style common among young women and girls in the Eastern and Niger-Delta part of Nigeria, as well as igbo women. This wrapper style is also favoured by older women, as well as brides-to-be who use it as their traditional wedding attire.
Takeaway: Tying the Nigerian Wrapper
So, there you have it on the 3 different styles of tying wrappers in Nigeria. Be sure to practice over and over with the steps in the video tutorials, until you become perfect to tie your wrapper yourself on your traditional marriage ceremony day.
Now, tell me in the comment section below – which of the above Nigerian wrapper tying style do think you would rock on your introduction ceremony and/ or traditional engagement day – the knot wrapper? the igbo double wrapper or the Iro?
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