MeTL Group is the largest textile producer in Sub-Saharan Africa with four textile mills (three in Tanzania and one in Mozambique) and an annual production of over 100 million running meters of fabric. Complementing this area of its business, MeTL Group also operates its own cotton ginnery and also owns cotton plantations.
MeTL Group’s textile mills are designed by specialists and equipped with world-renowned machinery from Sclafhorst, Rieter, Trutzchler, Sulzer, Picanol, Monforts, Artos and Stork amongst others. All MeTL Group textile companies meet industry compliance standards and have an established welfare program for workers that includes housing, subsidized meals, transportation, insurance, medical care and health awareness programs.
Kitenge, known as chitenge in some countries, are indigenous to Tanzania, Nigeria, Uganda, Zambia, Malawi, Kenya and Namibia. They are longer, and sometimes made of thicker cloth, than a khanga, usually measuring at a length of 6 meters and a width of 1.5 meters while a khanga is half the length. The story goes that these textiles originated in the bazaars of Zanzibar, a hub of intercultural exchange, via the extensive trade routes originating in Europe, India, Persia, Northern Africa and more.
The multitude of designs, symbols, shapes and colors have been adopted from all of these diverse regions and incorporated to give the kitenge meaning. It can signify cultural background, social position, religion, an attitude, belief, or mood. Sometimes Swahili proverbs or political messages are also printed and these cloths are then worn to make a statement.