Boon & Up’s fabrics are created in the small rural town of Lawra in the far north of Ghana. Our hand-grown and carbon-neutral African cotton is woven on handlooms by women of the Dagaaba people, and our patterns are all based on a traditional template that mimics the feathers of the Guinea fowl. To complete the story, we have dyed all our cotton a range of colours that reference the hues that the local Dagaare people paint their huts and houses.

All Boon & Up fabric is handwoven to a width of 110cm, and is 100% combed cotton, hand-grown by smallholder African farmers. Boon & Up fabric is tough, it passes 45,000 rubs on the Martindale test, however due to the way it is woven on traditional looms we highly recommend that our fabric is knit backed for any upholstery projects. This is a relatively inexpensive process, please get in touch with us for recommendations of companies that perform this task in your region.

Boon & Up fabric has also passed the flammability ‘cigarette test’ (BS5852:Part 1:1979:Source 0).

All our fabrics tell a story.

Our traditional patterns refer to local customs or an aspect of the savannah landscape of north west Ghana


When a child is born in the Dagaaba region the community will be called upon to provide a name. Deliberation will take a while as the baby’s character develops and weeks will pass before a suitable name is chosen. Annamala means ‘it shall be well’, and it’s the name of our Production Assistant’s new baby girl. This traditional pattern, originally based on the plumage of the guineafowl, is named in her honour.

Blue Savannah

Every April in northern Ghana rains begin to sweep across the scorched savannah, and the horizon is transformed as precious crops begin to re-emerge from the soil. The pattern of Blue Savannah depicts the sky as it is reflected in the streams, brooks and irrigation channels that pop up across the farmland.

Brushwood Pen

In dry season some farmers will continue to grow small amounts of crops by using a purpose built well. It is highly laborious and requires the whole community to participate if it is to be a success. Fences to keep out hungry animals will be created by piling up brushwood, and across the dusty landscape you will see these little pens that corral essential vegetables and root crops.


In dry season hunters will gather in groups (known as ‘yuoro’) to track wildlife. They will coordinate their movements to create the best opportunities for success, and also to protect each other should the hunter becomes the hunted.

Chief of Naa

A traditional smock is worn by many inhabitants of our hometown in north Ghana as they go about their everyday lives. A pattern bearing bold stripes is often worn by our chief, or ‘naa’, and we’ve created this striking pattern in his honour.

Ember Plains

After harvesting is done the farmers of the Dagaaba region will burn back the crops as they prepare their fields for the next farming season. As evening falls, ribbons of low flames scatter across the savannah creating a pattern of reds against the darks of the scorched earth.

First Ribbons

First light reveals the women of the household, usually with a broom made of grasses in their hand, sweeping and cleaning as the inky blue-black of the African night gives way to the first rays and filtering white light of a brand new day.

Flooding Moon

When a full moon (kyuupilla) rises and illuminates a village, the children of the community will come out and sing special songs. Many villages still have no electricity, so the light of the moon creates a floodlit stage for the children to sing and play.

Grace’s sky

Although our hometown in Ghana is a sixteen-hour bus trip to the nearest airport, when we look at the sky on a clear day we occasionally see airplanes from Europe fly high in the sky as they make their way to the capital Accra. Our head weaver Grace points at the vapour trails as they score the sky and wistfully says ‘one day I fly in the aeroplane’.

Harvest Bounce

The Big Event of our year is the harvest festival celebrations in our hometown. Everyone dresses up to the nines, and dance troupes from right across Ghana gather to out-perform each other. Village chiefs from all around line up to make speeches, relatives return from far flung places, and everyone enjoys an enormous two-day party.


All across our district you’ll see small fields with rows of little foot-high mounds. A yam will have been cut into small pieces and left indoors; when the yam cutting begins to sprout (like an old potato) then it will be transferred to one of the little mounds to allow it to grow until harvest time.


All the patterns created by the Dagaaba women weavers are based on one original template, Kankan, that mimics the feathers of the Guinea fowl. The original patterns were woven in black and white, and only more recently have other colours been introduced.


This pattern depicts brown earthenware cauldrons (kudoog) as they sit atop glowing charcoal embers, while women create the daily meal from fermented maize and cassava. Groundnut stew, or perhaps wilted leaves, will often accompany the dish that will be eaten at the end of the day.


Men and women of a village will gather for a particular purpose, such as a discussion about an issue that has been troubling the community, or a celebration of an achievement. The concept of togetherness, or ‘langtaa’, is the bedrock of each community.

Last Letter

As the day draws to a close and prepares to sign off, banks of white rainy season clouds might hover over our hometown and rays of pinks of a dying sun will filter through to the savannah below. Livestock will be rounded up and put in pens, and schoolchildren will finish off their homework before the night draws in.

Little Cob Field

Edith barbeques and sells corn on the cob by the road. Behind her is the field where her stands of her corn grow and wave against the blue sky. From field to grill to eager mouths. Edith’s corn is legendary in our hometown of Lawra.

Madam Kollyboo

Madam Kollyboo sits at the centre of our hometown and presses clothes using the embers of a fire to provide heat for her iron. She’s been there for decades and her open smile as she fans the flames inspired us to create this combination of pinks and reds using a traditional pattern.

Neem tree

The Neem tree packs a variety of medicines into its frame. Boil the leaves to fight off the symptoms of malaria, scrape the bark to alleviate rheumatism. This traditional pattern focuses on the undulating surface of the trunk.

Night Passage

An important event in the community is the night that the old year ends and the Dagaaba people give thanks to the gods for a safe passage into the new year, ‘yuon paala’, and a feast will be held under the blue black, starlit sky.

Palm Shell

Cowrie shells have served as money for many generations. A dowry of cowrie shells will be paid to the family of a bride, and grass baskets woven with the shells will hold particular spiritual resonance.


The Dagaaba people believe that the some are born with the power to affect rainfall. They can stop the rain; they can inflict harm on others with rainstorms. Rain is believed to be a god, and the rain god bestows this power on those who become known as a ‘child of the rain’.

Raindrop Forest

During the wet season, rain drills down from the skies and onto the corrugated metal roofs of houses in our hometown in rural northwest Ghana. ‘Raindrop Forest’ pattern depicts the savannah landscape as it is glimpsed from doorways, and through forests of raindrops.

Rhyme Fields

The rains begin in May in northern Ghana, and this kicks off farming season (or ‘kob’) that will stretch from June to September. Everyone but everyone will be out rhythmically working the fields, and school classrooms will empty out as teachers and students abandon their studies to help out on the family farm.


Every Easter the people of our hometown of Lawra empty out onto the corn fields on the banks of the nearby River Volta for a three-day festival. It’s dry season so the blue-brown river will have dried out to a trickle, and fingers of the yellow sandy riverbed serve as dancefloors for the partygoers.

Savannah Tracks

Legend has it that the first Dagaaba man to settle in modern Lawra in Ghana was a man named Kontol. He crossed the river from what is now Burkina Faso in pursuit of wildlife. After a while he stopped as he felt thirsty. Finding no streams or lakes to quench his thirst he followed the tracks of the wildlife as their hooves and paws left dotted red and pink tracks in the red earth of the sun-bleached vegetation of the savannah, and this led him to a water hole where he founded our hometown, Lawra. 

See Me See You

A villager, returning home after a trip away, will visit the more important members of the community with small gifts. Any traveller who forgets to greet fellow villagers will have issued a grave insult. The pink of this traditional pattern refers to the warmth and smiles of a greeting, the dark lines a reminder of the snubs and shuns a careless villager might incur.

Sister Beatrice

Sister Beatrice works in St Ann’s Vocational School for Young Women in a nearby town. She has taught generations of Dagaaba women how to sew, weave, embroider and much more. She wears a blue wimple and habit as she glides between her pupils with a beatific smile, dispensing advice and love. We cannot thank her enough for the help and love she gave us as we floundered in the early days of Boon & Up.


Songtaa is a strongly held belief that the community will only survive by ensuring that the needy are given the help that they require. Better-off individuals engage in ‘paying forward’ to those in need as a matter of course.


Our weavers often club together and put a few pennies into a weekly pot that is then shared out at the end of the month by each club member in turn. It helps with big expenses like shoes for a little one, or a school uniform. This clubbing together is called ‘soosoo’ and is common across the district.

Village Path

Farming by hand can be overwhelming for the individual farmer, so the Dagaaba people rely on a traditional system, ‘kotaa’, in which everyone in a village will pitch in and help on each other’s farms until the job is done.

Volga Sunset

Our hometown lies five miles from the Volga river, a natural border that meanders between Ghana and Burkina Faso, and a source of river fish. At the end of the day the local fishermen throw out their nets from dugout canoes as the glowing light of sunset falls on the green river.

Water Porter

Across our region you will see teenage girls and young women fetching water from bore holes dotted across the landscape; they will pump litres and litres into huge metal bowls that they will then carry home on their heads to their families for cooking and washing.


Empty gourds of differing sizes are strung together across a wooden frame and given little wooden hats which are then rhythmically drummed. Our fabric pattern represents the hypnotic tunes that have a central theme but sound like mellifluous babbling brooks, the tunes take years of apprenticeship and dedication to understand and learn.

Please email us for samples and prices, and any further information.

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