How can you maintain Aso oke just like our grandmothers used to do? The one my grandmother gave me is still looking like the new ones in town even years after her death.
How did she do it?
I begin to wonder, how did she do it? I guess you have the same question on your mind too. Those days, there was nothing like a washing machine (You will learn here that you can’t use it to wash auto gele and aso oke) and yet, all her aso oke are new and I am still rocking the one she gave me for my graduation (Lol, that was the gift I received from her).
Talking about Aso oke, the oldest and existing type of traditional wears which is mostly used by Yoruba people of Nigeria is a cherished traditional wear. It is usually set aside for special days. Yoruba people wear aso oke for introduction, traditional weddings, Festivals, chieftaincy e.t.c. http://asooke.com.ng/www2/asooke.html gave more tips on the traditional wear.
However, other tribes are taking over and you have no choice than to admire this beautiful traditional wear on people. One unique thing about aso oke is when a group of people decide to wear it as aso ebi for a particular event. If you are not a Nigerian who is not used to seeing that sight, you might lose yourself in looking at them. The sight is not describable.
In other to keep aso oke in existence, Nigerian designers have modernized it by making auto gele out of it. You can read more about auto gele here Auto Gele: How Auto Gele can Change Your Owanbe Style. Let us do a quick one on how to maintain your auto gele
How To maintain Auto gele:
- Be careful of too much of foundation/powder at the base of the gele. Since you will be tying your auto gele, don’t rub too much of foundation or powder.
- Once you get back home from your outing, spread it outside to air-dry it as a result of sweat.
- If you notice any powder or foundation stain, get a clean toothbrush, a small bowl of water and detergent. Put small detergent in the water and use a toothbrush to clean the stained area. After that use a clean water to clean and dry. Don’t spread your auto gele under the sun. Just air-dry it in your verandah.
- For the plain aso oke auto gele that comes without embellishment, you can wash normally after continued use. Make sure it is dirty before you was it. It is advisable to wash after 5th.
- For the full embellished aso oke auto gele, please take it to a professional dry cleaner or wash inside out.
Still talking about how to maintain aso oke. For its longevity, I will give you the tips I learnt from my grandma. I was young and very observant. I did not know that I will write on this on a day like this. The traditional wear is one of the most cherished properties of grandma. The following tips will help you in maintaining your traditional wear:
Once my grandma comes back from her outings, she will spread her aso oke outside under a shade. I noticed that she will not spread under the sun. When I asked her, she said it has undergone sun and fire to make them dry enough for use in weaving and not advisable to sun-dry it.
Do not wash Aso oke yourself
I repeat, do not wash aso oke yourself. Don’t ever make that mistake. There are specialists who do this. The specialists have a traditional/local way of washing the traditional wear. They don’t just put inside water and wash with soap.
What about the washing machine? Using the washing machine to wash aso oke may cause shrinkage or snag the delicate threads. You are very much discouraged from washing it with washing machine for whatever reason (stains or dirty). If you are not able to find a well-informed dry-cleaner, it would be best for you to engage the service of a local washer.
Do not iron aso oke
It is best not to iron aso oke. The specialists always wash and iron for their customers. There is a local way of ‘beating’ the traditional wear. The beating is the ironing. They use a local stick, spread the aso oke and beat with the stick.
Fold Up your Aso oke
Just like my grandma, neatly fold your aso oke in your wardrobe till the day you will need it again. Unless you have a special occasion, it is not a casual wear and should not be treated as one.