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The colorful African fabric has the potential to turn heads all the way! The Ankara fabric that has become such a celebrated piece in West Africa indeed found its way all over Africa. We can also ask: Is the African Ankara fabric still African?
While the Ankara fabric seems to have primarily originated from Africa, findings suggest that the print also came from the Dutch. The Dutch formerly produced the fabric as batik-inspired while intending to sell the fabric to the Indonesians until the economic complications in Indonesia proved unfavorable since the government wanted to protect the locally-produced batik.
Hence, the Dutch had to divert their produce to Africa: the Gold Coast specifically (modern day Ghana) before spreading to Central Africa. From there, new designs on the fabric were made with African textile. Significantly, the Africans and Europeans both dominate the Ankara market.
Ensembles on models are now seen on catwalks walking on the runway in the Ankara print in different fashion gigs. Talk about the London Fashion Week where the fabric graces the runway. Rihanna, the fashion-force to reckon with has been spotted in Ankara while Michele Obama, the author of the most celebrated books- Becoming was not left out either. She comfortably rocks Duro Olowo’s Nigerian Ankara pieces.
Brands like Jewel by Lisa Line by Lisa Folawiyo are designing purses out of Ankara while John Kaveke graces the international scene with his designs that are a delicate fusion of both African and Western cultures. And also, who hasn’t seen some Ankara pillows on Etsy? This just goes to show that the Ankara fabric is here to stay and we should be having this piece. If you don’t have an Ankara fabric yet, please plan your visit to Africa on a wild safari and get an Ankara piece as a souvenir. I think that will be much fun that ordering one from Amazon, right?
1. The fabric is bold and colorful.
Even laid-back fashionistas who never appreciate too much color will appreciate Ankara just because the patterns are normally perfectly coordinated. In case you have no much confidence to strike an all-Ankara piece, then you can get Ankara for your scarf, head wrap, bowtie, bag or shoe just to make that Africa statement!
2. Ankara is durable hence sustainable.
When going for Ankara, always go for quality cotton Ankara fabrics which are long lasting. Right now when the whole world is going crazy about sustainable fashion, it is advisable to start getting quality items for our wardrobes which will last for the longest time possible.
Read Also: 10 Steps to Building a Wardrobe from Scratch
Quality Ankara can be slightly expensive but that just goes to assure you that it will retain its cut and shape longer.
3. Ankara is versatile.
We all love fashion pieces that are so versatile since it becomes very easy to pair such. With Ankara, you can wear it as a jumpsuit, suit, skirt, pair of pants, dress or even a coat!
Ankara always makes a statement every time so always be ready to turn heads when rocking the versatile trend. Depending on how you pair your piece, it can turn dressy, formal, casual, sporty and the list goes on. Ankara can even be worn as accessories! Talk about Ankara clutches, head wraps, shoes or jewelry.
4. Ankara is timeless
Every superwoman out there appreciates a timeless piece in her wardrobe. Macy Stucke won’t get tired of her camel coats while Mia Mia Mine will effortlessly rock her pair of denim jeans over and over again. And here is one more timeless piece: the Ankara. For over a century, the piece is still as trendy!
5. It is easy to care for Ankara.
Ankara may be hand-washed or dry-cleaned without using harsh ingredients and hard brushes. Simply use a mild soap and rub it clean. It is also important that using bleach on Ankara can damage its colorful patterns hence you must carefully rub out stains. Since Ankara can form creases after washing, just iron the piece on medium iron heat while turned inside out to retain its bright color.
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Well, do you love Ankara? If so, let us know how you style it in the comments below…
Disclaimer: This post featured fashion enthusiast Elizabeth Nyajani Kuon