Mandera is a traditional Somali fabric, usually printed with a monochromatic color scheme of bright colors and bold patterns. In Kenya, the most popular colors are pinks and blues. This fabric is made from light cotton and is incredibly soft. Locally, Mandera fabric is used for the Dera dresses (pictured on the left); my personal favorite style. Terry is actually in the process of making me a Dera dress out of some beautiful Mandera fabric she picked out.
Kanga is made from extremely hard and firm cotton and originates from the coastal Swahili women. This fabric is locally used for lesos which are pieces of Kanga wrapped around the waist like a sarong. They use a leso to protect their clothes while doing household chores. Kanga is similar in style to the Kitenge, however it usually has one bold square pattern in the middle while having a coordinating border around it. Today, Kanga is used as a major fabric in African fashion.
Many women around the world give up on their dreams due to kids or husbands or just life in general. Terry has been able to live out her dream and still be the sole provider for her family. She’s had setbacks including her ex-husband completely destroying her new electric sewing machine (jealousy of her success without him) resulting in using an early 1900’s manual Singer but she hasn’t allowed those things to hinder her from pursuing her dreams.