Ankara fabric is traditionally made using a wax-resist dyeing technique known as batik. The process starts with a plain white cotton fabric, which is then stretched out on a frame. The design is then drawn onto the fabric using a stencil or by hand.
The fabric is then covered in wax, using a tool called a tjanting, which is a small container with a spout used to apply the wax. The wax is applied in the areas where the fabric will remain white or light-colored in the final design. The fabric is then dyed, and the wax acts as a resist, preventing the dye from penetrating the covered areas.
This process is repeated multiple times, with different colors of dye and new layers of wax being applied to create the final design. The fabric is then boiled to remove the wax, revealing the final design. The fabric is then washed, ironed and ready for use.
It’s worth noting that today with the advancement of technology, there are other ways to print Ankara fabrics such as digital printing, roller printing and screen printing. But the traditional wax resist method is still the most widely used method.