The third time I decided to wear a particular ankara dress I have, I realised it was faded. And you know the funny thing? It was when I arrived at my destination that my friend whispered to me so others wouldn’t hear. I still remember her words clearly: “Vicky, don’t you know how to care for your ankara Fabrics? This one you’re wearing is faded.”
I was ashamed of myself but I managed not to make it obvious up until I returned home that day. Although I never wore that particular African print dress again, I made sure the others I have didn’t turn out that way.
The ankara fabric is a delicate one. Choosing the perfect ankara style isn’t the only issue you’ll face when you buy it. You also need to know how to care for your ankara fabric lest you should reduce its lifespan.
If you’re wondering the right habits to imbibe when handling this fabric, here in this piece are tips on how to care for your ankara fabric.
They’ll ensure your fabric lasts long in terms of texture and colour.
Let’s dive in.
Why Bother to Care for Your Ankara Fabrics
This fabric is 100% cotton. It also contains at least two dye colours. And as such, it is a very delicate fabric. If you don’t care for it properly, it will definitely end up fading, slacking, bleeding its colours and looking dead.
And because you spent money to get them, you can’t afford to treat them with levity. More reason we created this post for you.
How to Care for Your Ankara Fabric
Knowing how to care for your ankara fabric boils down to knowing how to wash ankara properly. Below are the best tips that ensure you don’t wash your fabric to a dead state. And know for sure that they also apply to other African textiles.
1. Wash with a Drop of Salt
When washing your fabric, add a tablespoon of salt to the water. This will help to keep the fabric dye in place and prevent it from bleeding its colour.
You can also add a tablespoon of salt to the rinsing water too.
2. Use Baking Soda or Vinegar to Erase Stains
Is there a stain on your ankara fabric? Don’t bleach it.
Instead, add baking soda or vinegar to your wash water. Then rinse properly when you are done.
3. Wash Inside-out
This tip isn’t needed to care for your jeans alone. You also need it to care for your ankara clothes. Turn your ankara inside out when washing whether with a washing machine or with your hands.
4. Wash with Cold Water
Don’t use hot water to wash your fabric. It’ll wind up losing its colour. Use cold water instead and don’t add bleach to it.
5. Use Bar Soaps
Say no to detergent for your ankara garments. Detergents are harsh and known to kill the colour of fabrics. Use bar soaps instead. They aren’t harsh compared to detergents.
6. Hand-wash Your Fabric
You can actually use the washing machine, quite alright. But it’s best you hand-wash your ankara garments.
This is because washing machines and dryers can be hard on these clothes and ruin them.
However, if you still want to use a machine, then set it to 30 degrees or a cold wash setting.
7. Don’t Sun-dry for too Long
The sun already is a harsh natural element. Just as it causes sunburn, it also fades out fabric colour. Hence, if you want to dry these garments in the sun, let it be for a short time. Other than that, dry in a shade instead.
And remember not to wash your ankara pieces regularly. I advise that when you wear it once, air-dry it rather than wash it. Frequent washing will make it fade quickly.