Ankara fabric suppliers, Ankara Textile company in Lagos

How African Ankara Fabric is Made

How are Ankara fabrics made? How does a small piece of cotton transform into the lively colored fabric referred to as African Ankara?
Many people in Africa and other parts of the world adore this lively piece of clothing material, even if it is from a mere white fabric. It goes through several interesting stages before evolving into the stripped design that is popular today. The method of producing Ankara fabric involves infusing various designs in wax before dyeing the fabric, and it is not only an art but also a technique. Now it is time to see how talented artists weave such fabulous fabrics that have earned Africa’s image and identity.
Do you wish to hear more about how the Ankara fabric is produced?

How African Ankara Fabric is Made

Ankara fabric is traditionally made using a wax-resist dyeing technique known as batik.

  1. The process starts with a plain white cotton fabric, which is then stretched out on a frame.
  2. The design is then drawn onto the fabric using a stencil or by hand.
  3. 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.
  4. The wax is applied in the areas where the fabric will remain white or light-colored in the final design.
  5. The fabric is then dyed, and the wax acts as a resist, preventing the dye from penetrating the covered areas.
  6. This process is repeated multiple times, with different colors of dye and new layers of wax being applied to create the final design.
  7. The fabric is then boiled to remove the wax, revealing the final design.
  8. The fabric is then washed, ironed and ready for use.

All done!

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.

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