Saturday, 23 July 2016


Gele: The Number 1 Complement to The Typical Nigerian Woman’s Attire

            Fashion, style and beauty are the main trend in this 21st century. Everyone is trying to add colour, style, pattern, trend and design to their clothing. In Nigeria, our very own definition of beauty and style is uniquely original to us.

            In Nigeria, a full traditional attire consists of the blouse called the ‘Buba’ in Yoruba language, the wrapper which is commonly called the ‘iro’ in Yoruba language and the head tie known as the ‘Gele’. The main focus today is however on the ‘Gele’.

            The ‘Gele’, which is known as head gear or head tie in English language is a very key part of a Nigerian woman’s attire. A gorgeous Gele style will get you noticed in a crowd, whether it’s a wedding, Birthday party or any other occasion.

            You have to be very careful when selecting your Gele fabric because when you wrap a Gele with a soft fabric, the finished head gear will not stand firm and if the Gele fabric is too hard, difficulty may be experienced when trying to bend or twist it to a style of your choice. Hence, when trying to shop for your Gele fabric, ensure the texture of your Gele fabric is neither too soft nor too stiff for you to manipulate. Some examples of Gele fabrics include: Aso oke Gele, Damask Gele, French lace Gele, Net fabric Gele which is also known as single, etc.

Below are some of the latest and popular Gele styles to tie:

1) Labalaba: The name ‘labalaba’ means butterfly in English, this style involves tying your Gele in such a way that it looks good and then designing it with accessories like Plastic butterflies, flowers and other closely associated items to the butterfly. Gele fabrics with nice patterns such as flowers are usually used for this style.

2) Skentele: You need a big Gele fabric to make this style. It is elaborate and beautiful; women love this for the very famous ‘owambe’ parties. Most times, only the popular ‘damask’ material can make the ‘skentele’ style.

3) Hand fan: The strength of the hand fan is unique and unlike other wide styled Geles, it does not need a large Gele Fabric as such. The various layers which make up the hand fan are formed by hand styling.

4) Canopy: The base is unlayered but the hands are much wider. Endeavour to remember to bend the edge inwards, so it is seen at the front as showing the true side of the Gele.

5) Rope tie: Although this Gele is stylish and trendy, it isn’t difficult to tie. Firstly, you make your entire unmade Gele into a twisted rope. Then take the rope round the head in turns. Tie the knot and open the hands of the rope beyond the knot, let the opened part point upwards.

6) Funwantan: Funwantan in English means “give them all”. The strength of funwantan is its material and hard knot behind the wearers head. Funwantan maximizes the strength, pattern and beauty of the ‘ofi’ material, which is usually used for this style.
7) Eyin-ola: This Gele sends a message to you that even if the past is gone, it still has a major role to play in the outlook of the future.

Fadare Iyanu




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