Did you know that African fabrics are best recognized by their grade and class? Well, the African print a.k.a Ankara is a cotton fabric notable for its vibrant colours which comes in various pattern and grades. In addition, they are categorized based on quality and durability. Notable brands such as Vlisco, Dutch wax and English wax are the top contenders in Category A while Veritable wax, Excellence, Da viva, Hi-Target clinch the popular demand title in the category B space. Interestingly, some Ankara brands of much lower quality and price still strive for attention in this highly competitive space. These much cheaper brands are often used as Aso-ebi (pronounced as asho-ebi- meaning 'solidarity' in literal terms) for one off occasions such as funerals, weddings and local community events to raise funds or support a cause. It is noteworthy to mention that there are other African fabric which contend in a completely different space from the Ankara and they include brocade, Atiku, Adire, Velvet, Batik, among others.
Our Bold and Beautiful Model Wearing Ada Sleeveless Handkerchief Hem Dress
Spending more on quality African fabrics will prevent you from going out of style while creating a solid base wardrobe with durability. If you can, please stay away from cheaper brands because it’s a total waste of money; you know why? A well-tailored African fabric costs a reasonable amount of money. So you don’t want to invest money into making a poor quality fabric.
Irrespective of the grade, class or category of your Ankara, it’s advisable to dry-clean or hand-wash for best results and durability. Do not machine wash or tumble dry, invest in a clothesline or drying rack. It is recommended to wash your delicate and precious African prints separately or with like colours using cold water and a mild soap (not detergent). If you already have one of the cheaper and low quality brands that is very likely to bleed, you might want to add 2 tablespoons of salt in the bucket of water while rinsing. That way, the fabric will retain its brilliance and vibrancy much longer. You would agree that any treasure including your African print, is indeed worth preserving.
Until next time, remain bold, beautiful and fabulous!
“Clothes mean nothing until someone lives in them.” — Marc Jacobs