Train the trainer for the development of hand-woven fabrics

In addition to the cultivation of cotton, the training of tailors and the serial production of garments, the development of high-quality yarns and fabrics is also important in order to close the textile value chain. With the University of Education in Winneba, we are venturing into precisely this exciting terrain. It is about economic self-sufficiency, but also culture, identification and dignity.

TRAIN THE TRAINER FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF HAND-WOVEN FABRICS

In addition to the cultivation of cotton, the training of tailors and the serial production of garments, the development of high-quality yarns and fabrics is also important in order to close the textile value chain. With the University of Education in Winneba, we are venturing into precisely this exciting terrain. It is about economic self-sufficiency, but also culture, identification and dignity.

Presidential Republic

Form of government

238537 km²

Area

30.79 million

Inhabitants (2021)

religions

71 % Christians, 18 % Muslims,

5 % traditional religions

92,5 %

Youth literacy rate
(2018)

+ 2,0 %

Population growth rate
(2021)

Country profile

GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION

Ghana is located on the Gulf of Guinea and borders the Ivory Coast to the west, Togo to the east and Burkina Faso to the north. The country is roughly the size of Great Britain, with most people living along the coast, in the capital Accra or in the second largest city in the centre of the country: Kumasi.

ECONOMY

Thanks to its political stability, Ghana is an important business location in West Africa; the secretariat of the new African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has been located in Accra since 2020. However, poor transport infrastructure, high interest rates and corruption continue to hamper investment.

RELIGION AND LANGUAGE

The south of the country is Christian, the north Islamic, and there is hardly any tension between the two religions. Ghana was the first sub-Saharan country to gain independence in 1957. The official language is English, but there are also more than 70 ethnic languages, most notably Akan.

TEXTILES AND THE TEXTILE INDUSTRY

Cheap imports from Asia and second-hand clothing from Europe are also having a massive impact on the local textile and clothing industry in Ghana. The government is trying to combat this and protect the sector. Characteristic of Ghana are the hand-woven Kente fabrics with their geometric patterns and bright colours.

Fabric development in Winneba

In order to become less dependent on fabrics from abroad, there is a need for reflection and reorientation: what knowledge is available, how can traditional techniques and patterns be reactivated and reinterpreted, who is interested in hand-woven fabrics, what materials are available and in what quality? Together with Invest for Jobs, a brand of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), and the University of Education, Winneba, we are looking for answers to these questions. Experimenting with weaving techniques, materials and colours on the university campus. Researching the potential of ecological fibres such as organic cotton, pineapple and birch wood. We conduct market analyses and develop strategies to increase the production of hand-woven fabrics without compromising quality and while maintaining good working conditions.

In order to become less dependent on fabrics from abroad, there is a need for reflection and reorientation: what knowledge is available, how can traditional techniques and patterns be reactivated and reinterpreted, who is interested in hand-woven fabrics, what materials are available and in what quality? Together with Invest for Jobs, a brand of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), and the University of Education, Winneba, we are looking for answers to these questions. Experimenting with weaving techniques, materials and colours on the university campus. Researching the potential of ecological fibres such as organic cotton, pineapple and birch wood. We conduct market analyses and develop strategies to increase the production of hand-woven fabrics without compromising quality and while maintaining good working conditions.

Our train-the-trainer programme with a focus on “weaving” is an indispensable basis. Students and skilled weavers from the Volta region are taught how to set up, operate and maintain wooden looms. At our side: Andreas Möller, founder of FLYING8.

It is in our interest that the weavers go back to their home villages after completing our programme and pass on their knowledge to young people. This is also about spreading knowledge and building small, local units.

We are in close dialogue with African fashion designers and the local textile industry in order to identify and sound out needs, interests and potential – and this always involves topics such as identity, reflection, new beginnings and prospects in one’s own country.

OUR LOCAL CONTACT: OSUANYI QUAICOO ESSEL

The trained textile designer and sculptor teaches fashion and textile education at the University of Education, Winneba. He is particularly interested in Ghanaian clothing culture: past, present and future.

News & Stories

Future in our own country

Future in our own country

Lessons in the class of Osuanyi Quaicoo Essel, in which students practise the role of teachers.  The University of Education in Winneba (UEW) was recommended to us as a partner for our project in Ghana - since our visit at the beginning of the year, we know even...

Handmade

Handmade

How do you build a loom from a pile of boards that is not only faster, but can also weave fabrics 1.60 metres wide? For our first training module at the University of Education in Winneba, we invited 15 weavers to learn this skill. At our side: Andreas Möller,...

THE PROJECT JUSTINE – train the trainer e.V.

Behind the organisation are Rahmée Wetterich and Marie Darouiche, founders of the Munich fashion label NOH NEE. With the success of their internationally renowned Dirndl à l’ Africaine, the question of a suitable production location quickly arose: In which country, on which continent do we want to have our clothes made in future? Under fair conditions and characterised by mutual interest, appreciation and respect. The search for a coherent answer led the founders to Benin in 2017 – even if production was initially out of the question. Not because there was a lack of seamstresses and tailors, but because there was no common understanding of how to sew trousers, a shirt or even a dirndl.

Today, THE PROJECT JUSTINE – train the trainer runs its own training and vocational centre in the north of Benin, where young women and men learn the tailoring trade from scratch and grow up to become trainers. The commitment is bearing fruit. The first students have been trained, are passing on their knowledge to the next generation and are being asked for their expertise by neighbouring countries. With the growing interest in West Africa as a production location for textiles, the need is evident everywhere: there is a lack of tailors who can process fabrics to a consistently high standard, as well as a lack of trainers who can train and instruct. The first co-operations and partnerships across national borders are emerging – always with the aim of creating long-term jobs.

We are grateful for the journey that lies behind us. And we look forward to the steps that will follow. Africa is on the move. We are moving with it.

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CONCENTRATION ON SEVEN GOALS (SGDs) OF THE UNITED NATIONS

THE PROJECT JUSTINE
- train the trainer e.V.
Agricolaplatz 7
80687 Munich


+49 (0) 89 88 98 12 70
info@theprojectjustine.org

THE PROJECT JUSTINE - train the trainer e.V.
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