|Austria’s embroidered fabric for years together has been used to produce attractive multi-coloured clothing for Nigeria.
The embroidered fabric which is manufactured in Vorarlberg, a small hilly region sharing its border with Switzerland, is popularly known as “lace” in the region. The fabric is then exported to Nigeria, where it is converted into high-end clothing which local people customarily put on during marriages or other special functions.
This linkage between the two absolutely distinct countries is being displayed at an exhibit at Vienna’s Ethnology Museum. The exhibit showcases a diverse collection of various designed garments, ranging from subtle to gaudy ones.
People visiting the Museum can have a close look at the fabric, which usually contains flowers in its design. Some of these fabrics are even prettified with precious stones or embellished with velvet.
In 1960, embroidery manufacturers from Austria coincidentally discovered the Nigerian market, when a trader halted in Lagos, capital of Nigeria, and saw a number of women dressed in colourful embroidered garments. The trader revisited the country with Austrian samples, and eventually the trade flourished.
The Austrian lace industry, registered an overall turnover of around €55 million ($76.6 million) last year, almost 50 percent of which was exported to Nigeria, followed by other African nations like Senegal and Ghana.