WHAT IS ANKARA?
Ankara is the capital of Turkey, it’s also a very important African fabric which is sown into different attires. Today I will be writing about Ankara as an African Fabric.
The Ankara is commonly known as “African prints”, “African wax prints” “Holland wax” and “Dutch wax”. It 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. The history of the popular Ankara fabric dated back to the previous century. It was believed that the Dutch were the actual manufacturers of the fabric.
They manufactured the fabric (Ankara) for the Indonesian textile Market.Until the design actually generated more significant interest in West Africa than in Indonesia.Recognizing this opportunity,the Dutch decided to focus on West Africa. As such, the prints was modified and changed to reflect African culture and lifestyle. Hence, African print was born. Although the Yorubas( An ethnic group of people occupying the western part of Nigeria) also have their History to how the Ankara fabric emerged. (You can read it here)
The Ankara print fabrics were made through an Indonesian wax-resist dyeing technique called batik. batik are made by hand-drawing motifs on cotton cloth and involved the use of wax and resist-dye. This technique or 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.
The Ankara being a very versatile fabric, it can be used to make items 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. Ankara print fabrics can be worn for regular occasions, but many people consider it a formal fabric and normally wear it for special occasions.