Embroidery was used for both decorative and functional purposes. The embroidery techniques, such as buttonhole stitch and cut-pile embroidery, are often simple, but their intricate effects are a result of the skill-level and final pattern design used. For example, hemmed appliqué is a simple technique still used today where raphia cloth pieces are cut into designs and sewn onto the base fabric. The decorative pattern depends on the region and the imagination of the embroiderer. The Asante in Ghana use non-figurative patterns representing proverbs while the Ewes[25] use figurative weft patterns also representing proverbs. The Yoruba introduce rows of holes lengthwise in the woven cloth strip. Beadwork is common in East Africa and Southern Africa although it is still used in other parts of Africa including Nigeria and Ethiopia.

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