A real, serious piece of kitenge* can create a 3-dimensional impression, making you think of African rivers, mountains, territory, jungle or starlit nightskies...
A good piece of kitenge takes you deeper. Inside. Fofofo.
Take two steps back, let the vision blur a bit, and you'll see.
Due to the traditional printing techniques (if the different colours are printed in separate layers, using wax for the designs and separation of colours, it can create an effect of shade and perspective), but also due to the specific design. It also means that no pieces are the same. Hence, you're guaranteed unique style when you take it to your tailor. This is one of the reasons this kind of (decent) kitenge became so popular in Africa - read more here.
Don't settle for the cheaper pieces, which often come in thin polyester, and where the design may resemble the more expensive and demanding printing technique. Often it even tries to imitate the wax effect and the 'mistakes'. Often produced in Asia, but Africa has picked up the cheap version too.
*'Kitenge' is swahili for printed cotton fabric sold in Africa (pl. vitenge). In West Africa it is called 'ankara'. Vitenge comes i different qualities depending on the type of print and type of fabric. It is almost rocket science.
More photos here.