African 100% Cotton Wax Prints

african 100 cotton wax prints

African 100% Cotton Wax Prints

African wax prints are more than just a summer trend. They’re a vibrant fabric that’s woven into the very culture of West and Central Africa.

Known as Ankara and Kitenge in Africa, these colourful cotton cloths reflect tribal patterns, symbols, and motifs. Each design has its own hidden meanings, and some African women use them as a non-verbal way of communicating.

How is African print fabric made?

African print fabric is a type of 100% cotton cloth with vibrant patterns that reflect the culture and traditions of Africa. It’s also known as Kitenge, Ankara or Dutch Wax fabric and is often used to make clothing, accessories and homeware.

The printing on this fabric is created by applying wax resins to a piece of cloth, which is then dyed. The wax coating on the fabric prevents the dye from penetrating the cloth, which creates the unique patterning and fading of the cloth’s colours. It’s a labour-intensive process, so it can take hours to complete just one yard of the fabric.

Originally, the technique was inspired by Indonesian batik, which is a method of dyeing cloth using wax-resisting techniques. To make African wax print fabric, melted wax is patterned across blank cloth before it’s dipped in dye. The crackling effect displayed on the fabric is the result of the wax breaking down during the dying process. Nowadays, it’s often made using special machinery rather than the manual process.

The fabric is a popular choice for fashion designers and clothing brands worldwide due to its rich history and variety of colourways. It has even become a staple for celebrities like Rihanna and Kanye West. If you’re looking to buy African wax print fabric, we recommend purchasing a small sample first to check the quality of the cloth.

How do I choose African wax print fabric?

There are so many amazing African print fabrics on the market that it can be tricky to know which ones to choose for your next project. Here are a few tips to help you:

Firstly, make sure the fabric is 100% cotton. A lot of African prints are mixed with african 100% cotton wax prints polyester which makes them cheaper to buy but they will be a lot less breathable and tend to have a rougher texture. Secondly, touch the fabric to check it feels soft and not too stiff. Lastly, look at the selvedge to see what the fabric is made from (it’s normally printed on here) and ask if it has any labels stuck to it. These may need a bit of extra care when removing.

Finally, choose a fabric that has a print that suits your style. The options are endless and there really is something for everyone, whether you like animal print, florals, geometric patterns or tribal prints! Wax print fabrics work great for casual outfits such as dresses, tops and skirts or more formal clothing such as a suit or a blazer.

Another great tip is to pre-wash the fabric before you use it. This helps to set the dye and reduce any excess stiffness. To do this, fill your sink with lukewarm water and add a squirt african 100% cotton wax prints of mild and gentle liquid soap and a few drops of fabric softener. Soak the fabric in this solution for about 10 minutes, then rinse it off and let it dry. This will also help to remove any natural oils that have built up on the fabric.

What are the characteristics of African wax print fabric?

Wax prints are a type of cotton fabric produced using a mechanised wax-resist printing technique derived from Indonesian hand-crafted batik techniques. This print method allows for the pattern to be printed on both sides of the fabric, giving it a unique lustre that appears almost the same on either side. Each piece of fabric can have its own personality, as a result of the random imperfections in the colour tones and patterns. Traditionally, this fabric was manufactured by draping the cloth over a carved wooden frame and pouring hot wax on it. This created a design in the cloth, and the waxed areas ‘resist’ the penetration of dye, creating an effect that gives the fabric its unique signature. These fabrics are usually made from a grey cotton fabric that has been scoured, washed, bleached and mercerised to ensure its quality.

Also known as Kitenge or Ankara, this colourful fabric is widely used in Africa to make clothing and accessories. It is a symbol of African heritage and can be found in most homes in West Africa, where it is traditionally worn to celebrate certain occasions. Women use it as a form of nonverbal communication and many patterns are named after a variety of aspects including personalities, cities, sayings, buildings and events.

This brightly coloured textile has become increasingly popular around the world, and is even being worn by celebrities like Beyonce, who recently celebrated her baby shower in an African-centred wardrobe. While this is great news for the African textile industry, there are several things you should know before buying wax print fabric.

How do I wash African wax print fabric?

When you’ve invested in a beautiful piece of African wax print fabric, it is natural that you will want to keep it looking as good as possible for as long as you can. This means taking care of the fabric properly to avoid any unwanted colour bleeding or transfer. With this in mind, here are 3 tips to help you wash your African print fabric and garments properly.

1. Always wash your African print fabric on a cold or tepid water cycle. This is to prevent the colours from bleeding and to reduce shrinkage. 2. When washing your African prints separately, be sure to only use a mild detergent that helps keep bright colours vibrant like Skip.

3. Never tumble dry your African prints. Rather, hang them on the washing line outside to dry in the natural light and fresh air. This will also help to prevent any unwanted shrinking or stretching of the fabrics.

Lastly, be sure to test your African print fabric for colour fastness before putting it in the wash. To do this, simply dampen a piece of white cloth and then lay it over the fabric. If the colour from the wax print bleeds onto the white cloth, it is not colourfast and should be washed separately. If it does not bleed, then the fabric is colorfast and can be washed with other colors.

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