We are often asked what the difference is between a kikoy and a sarong. The difference is that both are the name for a “wrap” but the names are used differently in different countries.
The name kikoy is generally used in South Africa and East Africa for a piece of fabric, usually 1.5 metres long, with tassels on the short ends. Sarong is the name given to similar pieces of fabric, also used to wrap around the waist or the body in a variety of ways. Sarongs are generally worn is South East Asia. The term Sarong is commonly used in English to describe a wrap. A sarong or sarung is used in Malasia and Indonesia, the Horn of Africa, as well as in many Pacific islands and is worn by both men and women.
Sarongs and kikoys are worn both formally and informally but in the western world we have adopted both for casual wear, often used as a wrap for beachwear, or to lounge in comfortably at home.
To confuse the issue even more, kikoys and sarongs have a variety of different names such as chitenje in Malawi, capulana in Mozambique, kanga (or kikoy) in East Africa and zambias in Zimbabwe.
Kikoys, Sarongs and wraps by any other name, come in a variety of colours, patterns and fabrics. We call our wraps kikoys and they are 100% cotton.