African wax print (aka Ankara) is a 100% natural cotton fabric. The unique patterns are printed with wax and dyes, which makes it extremely delicate. This article will help you properly maintain and care for your Ankara outfits.
We highly recommend hand washing your Ankara clothes to ensure the color remains bright and shiny. Dry cleaning is also an option if your dry cleaners are familiar with Ankara print. If not, their regular cleaning solvents could damage your clothes.
- Separate your Ankara print from other fabrics to avoid damaging lighter colored clothes
- Turn the clothes inside out to prevent color bleed
- Use mild soap - avoid bleach and heavy detergent
- Use cold or lukewarm water to wash and rinse - hot water will compromise color
- Add a teaspoon of salt to the washing water to seal the fabric color
- To remove stains, add a little bit of vinegar or baking soda to washing water
- Scrub gently to prevent damaging seams and stitches
- Rinse at least twice with clean water & avoid wringing out excess water - instead roll in a clean white towel and squeeze water out
- Air dry by hanging on clothesline or lay them flat - avoid direct sunlight
Turn the clothes inside out to preserve color
- Iron on low to moderate heat, the cotton setting works best
- For lace or linen attachments, adjust to the appropriate setting
- For embellishments like sequins, place a clean white pressing cloth in between the iron and the Ankara fabric
Machine washing is NOT advised as regular wash cycles will make your clothes fade faster. However if you prefer to wash in the machine, follow the above directions and use the gentle/delicate setting to skip the spin cycle. Do not tumble dry.
It is important not to wash your Ankara clothes often. We recommend wearing it once then laying it out to dry. Frequent washing will make the color fade faster.
Follow these simple steps to keep your Ankara fabric vibrant and to increase its lifespan. Feel free to share these tips with your family and friends. Nobody likes worn out Ankara!