Traditional Dress Of Ethiopia

The weather plays a significant role in how Ethiopians choose to dress. The plains of Ethiopia call for lightweight cotton ensembles, in contrast to the heavy apparel, such as wraparound blankets, required in the mountains. Different ethnic groups in Ethiopia have common clothing traditions.

Most traditional rural garments are made from woven cotton. Since the nineteenth century, people of both sexes have worn the long cotton shamma. According to shamma, men are to wear white cotton pants and women are to wear floor-length robes.

In this article, we will be discussing cotton’s importance and the traditional clothes of Ethiopia.

Traditional Ethiopian Clothes


Ethiopians and Eritreans dress similarly for generations. Formal hand-woven cotton cloth. As Ethiopian New Year approaches, buy Habesha outfits. Habesha gowns are well-known. Etsy sells Habesha clothing. Timket is more important than Enkutatash for wearing a Habesha outfit (the Ethiopian New Year). Habesha clothing, once offered only in Shiro Meda, is now sold across Addis Abeba.

The Dewari produce cotton and spin it into yarn for the Habesha economy. Shemane is known for her high-quality handwoven clothing. After that, Tibeb designs are hand-stitched. Depending on the skill of the craftsman and the garment’s complexity, a Habesha costume can take 20 to 25 days to produce. High-quality traditional attire is greatly sought after. Cotton’s names vary. Wild eyes, saba, and menen are examples.


The Dashiki shirt, the traditional attire of Ethiopian men, has long sleeves and typically falls to the knees. Most of the time, the embroidery on these shirts’ chest, collar, and cuffs is white. A shorter neckline than normal on this mandarin collared shirt. The man’s shirt and pants are the same shade of blue. While chiffon may be in style at the moment, cotton will always be necessary.

The traditional Ethiopian suit is worn to church on Sundays and other religious and cultural celebrations.

The dashiki is a common African garment that is very similar to the Ethiopian suit, save for the lack of a neck and the use of short sleeves. In Ethiopia and Eritrea, white is the traditional color for the dashiki.


Shawls made of silk or wool are common accessories for men to wear with suits. Shawls are widely used by both sexes, and some are even designed with males in mind. Due to its four-ply design, a gabi shawl will keep its wearer warm even in the coldest of weather. Men wear one layer of the Kuta shawl in cool weather and two layers as the temperature rises.

A cotton shawl draped about the shoulders is a status symbol in the Middle East. The shawl’s total quality, including its weight, number of layers, and thickness, determines its social status.

Insight into a person’s character, aspirations, and disposition can be gained by observing the way they wrap themselves in a shawl. As their context of use changes, so do the meanings of words. Shawls represent status and wealth in the Ethiopian city of Gamo.

A shawl is typically worn wrapped around the wearer’s back and draped over the right shoulder in everyday situations. The mourner’s face is covered with a shawl out of respect. During religious ceremonies, shawls are typically worn draped over both shoulders.


The Afar people can be found in these four countries: Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, and Somalia. The Afar culture encourages the wearing of sana-fils by all genders. Wrap it around your hips like a sarong. Brown clay colors were traditionally reserved for ladies, while men’s sana-fil went unadorned. Currently, consumers may purchase Sana-fil products in a wide variety of hues.

Women of the Afar region were famous for their shash and sana-fil. T-shirts and singlets have replaced skirts and pants as the standard upper body covering for both sexes. Binding sana-fil at the bust creates a long top for women.

A woman’s hair is should be covered with a shash, a dark scarf, once she has tied the knot.

Afar People

The traditional dress of the Afar people is a living testament to the courageous reputation they have gained. The file is a long knife with a curved blade that is typically carried by men.

Ethiopian Cotton Crafts

Cotton has long been grown in Ethiopia for use in the country’s textile sector. It is the second-largest cotton grower on the African continent, and this tried-and-true method has historically benefited people in both rural and urban areas. The majority of items, especially shawls and lowland apparel, are crafted from cotton. I think you’ll find the content to be rather engaging.

Carefully woven in the original Netela cloth, this wrap scarf is a work of art. Men sewed and wove their clothing to show off their status in society, just like the textiles of the internet. They are really important. Women, generally close relatives of the weavers, traditionally did the work of spinning cotton into thread and gathering raw cotton. These days, women do not merely spin the yarn but work in every aspect of the textile industry.

Needlework skills, such as those used in weaving and embroidery, have a long tradition of being passed down from one generation to the next. This is an age-old custom.

Final Words

The variety of clothing styles worn by Ethiopians is vast. Dressing up for informal occasions was once the norm, but times have changed. Do not use them regularly; rather, put them away for special occasions. This fashion is rapidly becoming the norm when going out.

Dresses inspired by the Gondar aesthetic have seen a recent spike in popularity. Women in Ethiopia and Eritrea wear short gowns to formal events including weddings, birthday parties, and holidays. It can be shaped in numerous novel ways at this point. Cotton textiles in a variety of neutral colors. The nettle is typically used by women as an accessory to dressy ensembles.

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