Guinean woman in brown headscarf works at sewing machine
Spinning wheel turns, next to knees of man who is operating it.
Neat stack of cotton textiles, one wrapped with a Tokkora label

Tokkora, the ‘made in Guinea’ fabric

20 October 2023
ITC News

Mamadou Aliou Diallo was born into a family of dyers. As an adult, Aliou decided to take over the family business and turn it into a company that honours their traditions.

In Coyah, Guinea, the rhythmic clacking of hand-turned weaving machines fills the air at Tokkora, an exceptional cotton apparel company.

Guinean man stands outside in handmade striped shirt
Coyah, Guinea. Aliou Diallo, founding manager of Tokkora.
Photo by ITC

Aliou Diallo, the founding manager of Tokkora, stands in the textile workshop amid machinery that looks as though it were from another time.

Tokkora's fabric transcends mere apparel, weaving stories of tradition and innovation with each meticulously crafted piece.

‘We are committed to local expertise, and cotton weaving that is 100% cotton, 100% handmade and 100% made in Guinea,’ explains Diallo. Tokkora’s dedication to sustainability and ethical practices is tangible in every thread they weave.

Tokkora's creations reflect a blend of the old and the new, celebrating the rich tapestry of Guinea's cultural heritage while embracing contemporary designs.

Diallo’s childhood was coloured by the craft of his mother, an indigo dyer. Diallo wants Tokkora’s work to serve as a tribute to this tradition. Tie-dyeing brings life to the textiles, and customers can request any number of hues.

‘The idea is to show the skills, knowledge, and approach that we have here in terms of creativity, weaving, and traditional products, as well as modern high-end products,’ Diallo explains. His passion for blending ancestral expertise with modernity is evident.

Guinean fabrics that want to travel the world

Tokkora offers a number of products, from elegant kimonos to stylish shirts, exquisite tablecloths, and intricately designed curtains. With this range, Tokkora positions itself as a leading supplier of fabrics for Guinean stylists and designers.

Tokkora’s collaborations with local artisans and craftsmen not only preserve the distinctive craft traditions of West Africa, but also empower the local economy, fostering a sense of community and equity.

Diallo dreams of growing Tokkora into a multinational company that will become the face of Guinean cultural craftsmanship, with fabrics that will travel the world.  

Tokkora’s presence on the international stage was solidified at the prestigious Afrodyssée event in Geneva. The privilege of dressing the event's 80 hosts served as a testament to Tokkora's growing influence and the timeless elegance of their handcrafted textiles.

Tokkora also serves as a platform for nurturing young talent, providing employment and training opportunities for both graduates and non-graduates alike.

Diallo hopes to make this intricate art form accessible to the youth of Guinea, bridging the gap between tradition and contemporary livelihoods.

Diallo invites customers to join their mission for sustainability and equity, offering the delight of adorning oneself in products of unparalleled quality while contributing to a fairer and more sustainable future.

Tokkora weaves dreams of a more sustainable and equitable future for textiles, one thread at a time.


About the project

The Government of the Republic of Guinea and the European Union launched the Support programme for the socio-economic integration of the Guinean youth (INTEGRA) to enable economic opportunities for youth. 

Funded by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, INTEGRA seeks to tackle economic root causes of irregular migration, supporting entrepreneurship and job creation at the grass-roots level and providing opportunities for growth and employment.


24 May 2023