Adaku Parker Joins Craft Central

Tuesday, January 7, 2020 - 10:14
Share on:

Barrister turned designer Adaku Parker is opening a new studio in east London as her African wax fabric business goes from strength to strength.

The new creative headquarters of Dovetailed London – headed up by 40-year-old entrepreneur Adaku – will allow the brand to grow and meet increasing demand for sewing workshops, fabrics and sewing patterns.

The expansion is the latest development in a phenomenal year of growth for Dovetailed London which saw a brimming order book and several television appearances for Adaku including as a finalist on Kirstie Allsopp’s Handmade Christmas 2019.

The mum-of-three designer-maker is currently writing a groundbreaking book about sewing with African wax print fabric which has already been snapped up by a publisher.

The new studio, at creative hub Craft Central on the Isle of Dogs will allow Adaku to run more of her popular ‘Learn to sew with African wax fabric’ workshops and stock more of her distinctive fabrics for customers.

She said: “What started out as a side hustle when I was on maternity leave has evolved into a fantastic flourishing business which is a celebration of African fashion and British design.

“The new Dovetailed London studio will take us to the next level in terms of stock availability, new workshops that we can host and will be a nurturing and inspiring place for me to create new patterns so customers can make unique clothes from our exquisite fabrics.”

Adaku spent almost 20 years working as a criminal barrister before becoming an accidental entrepreneur in 2016. As a new mum she took a few textile and sewing evening classes while on maternity leave and her bespoke creations, such as bags and clothes, were in demand.

As the orders came flooding in her business was born and Adaku hasn’t looked back.

She said: “I absolutely love the bold bright colours of African wax fabric. The structured nature of the fabric makes it a dream to sew with. People are pleasantly surprised by the fit of their wax print garments and how flattering it is on the form.

“The fabric is versatile and can be used in clothes and bag making, quilting and upholstery.


“The history of African wax prints is incredibly interesting. Many of the different designs and motifs, especially the older ones, have meanings and are often named after sayings, personalities or occasions. Essentially, the fabric, through the designs and motifs, tells a story.”


Adaku is a popular exhibitor at major craft and sewing shows across the UK and regularly appears on the Sewing Quarter television channel where her fabrics often sell out.

Her website allows customers to buy 100% cotton African wax fabric, sewing patterns for clothes size 8 - 26 and book sewing workshops run by Adaku.

Marguerite Metz, Craft Central senior event and exhibition coordinator, said: “At Craft Central, it is always exciting to have new people join our studios. Adaku will be a great addition to our creative community with her vibrant textiles. With our 67 studios, and with a diverse range of practices, we provide a friendly and conducive environment in which to work.”

Adaku will be holding her first African wax print fabric pop up show at Craft Central on January 25 from 10am to 6pm.