Wax Print: What is Ankara? … What is Ankara Fabric?

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Colorful Wax Prints Fabrics, Available at the All Things Ankara Store here here

 
What is ankara? 
What is ankara fabric? Isn’t it the capital of Turkey? It is the capital of Turkey and it is also the name of a popular fabric worn by many Africans. So what is ankara?

Ankara commonly known as “African prints”,”African wax prints” “Holland wax” and “Dutch wax”, is a 100% cotton fabric with vibrant patterns. It is usually a colorful cloth and is primarily associated with Africa because of its tribal-like patterns and motifs.


 
It is also a very versatile fabric and many items can be made from it such as hats, earrings, blazers, and shoes to name a few. To make ankara an even more versatile fabric, fashion brands and fabric suppliers have manufactured ankara prints on fabrics like chiffon, silk, spandex for clothing such as kaftans, iro and bubas, bathing suits, sports bars, leggings & socks.

STREETS BABE Sports Bra & Leggings by Ankara Streets
Available at the All Things Ankara Store here

 

Remi Chiffon Bow Blouse by Yetunde Sarumi
Available at the All Things Ankara Store here

Ankara print fabrics are made through an Indonesian wax-resist dyeing technique called batik. In this technique, methods are used to “resist” the dye from reaching all the cloth, thereby creating a pattern. The lack of divergence in color intensity helps with the determination of the (front) right and (back) wrong side of the fabric.



Ankara print fabrics are usually sold per yard, 6 yards or 12 yards. The fabric company, product and registration number is printed on the selvage of the fabric, to notify people of the quality and to protect the designs from imitators. 

 

The wax fabric can be sorted into categories of quality due to the processes of manufacturing. The colors comply with the local preferences of the costumers. Wax prints can be named after and inspired by personalities, cities, building, sayings, occasions or well-known individuals.

 

Victoria Rowell’s Obama Gown at The 2009 Emmys – View Post here

 

Ankara print fabrics can be worn for regular occasions, but many people consider it a formal fabric and it wear it for special occasions.

All Things Ankara’s Best Dressed Women at the Exquisite Ghana Ball 2015 – View the post here

Some people wear it as “asoebi” for special occasions such as birthdays, weddings, balls etc. Asoebi is a Nigerian word and means “clothes of the family”. Family members, relatives and close friends usually dress up in similar attire for a special occasion.
 

Wedding: Dunnie Onasanya & Ibrahim Hasan – View post here

Even though ankara fabrics are associated with the African culture,  it’s origins are not authentically and wholly African. Dutch wax prints started out as mass-produced imitations of Indonesian batik fabric.


 
It was originally intended for the Indonesian market but found a more enthusiastic market in West Africa, where it became symbols of traditional and high quality fashion. From West Africa, this fabric spread to other parts of Africa and all over the world.


All Things Ankara’s Best of 2016: Top 10 Celebrity Red Carpet Moments – View post here

It’s recap time! So what is ankara? What is ankara fabric?
  • Commonly known as “African prints”,”African wax prints” “Holland wax” and “Dutch wax”,
  • 100% cotton fabric with vibrant patterns
  • Made through a wax-resist dyeing technique called batik
  • Very versatile fabric and many items can be made from it such as hats, earrings, blazers, and shoes to name a few
  • Even though it is associated with the African culture,  it’s origins are not authentically and wholly African. Dutch wax prints started out as mass-produced imitations of Indonesian batik fabric.
  • It is also the capital of Turkey!
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