HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR AFRICAN PRINT FABRICS
27
Jun 2020

There’s something really exciting about wearing new clothes, especially clothes made with fabrics that have popping colours, like many African print fabric. Now the big question is how do we properly care for these fabrics so the colour  can retain that crisp look for a long time. 

 There are certain steps to take to ensure that your Ankara/Batik prints remain in the same fabulous condition. Here are some tips you can follow;

CHECK FOR COLOUR FASTNESS

It is always a good idea to separate coloured clothes from whites. That said, if you are mixing your Ankara/Batik fabrics with others, it is advisable to test the colour fastness first. To check if the colours on the fabric is resistant to running, you may try either of these techniques:

Wet a small hidden seam of the garment, apply your regular cleaning agent and then dab the area with a clean light coloured cotton cloth.
OR
Wet a piece of white cloth, lay it on top of the print fabric and iron them both until dry.
If the colour runs from the garment onto the cloth during either of these methods, then you know not to mix it with other garments. Also, if you find that your Ankara/ Batik fabric is going to run, then try adding a tablespoon of salt in with the wash to prevent colour fastness. The chloride content of the salt will help seal the color in.

WASHING MACHINE VS HAND WASHING 

Whenever possible, avoid washing your African fabric with a washing machine or using the tumble dryer. The washing machine can be extra hard on the material and possibly ruin it. The safest way to clean your African print fabrics is to hand wash them in cold or lukewarm water. If you have to use a washing machine, set to a cold gentle cycle for best results.

PICK THE RIGHT CLEANING AGENT

For African fabrics, it is advisable to use bar soap instead of detergents. Unfortunately, having stains on our fabrics is almost unavoidable. While hand washing, avoid using bleach or anything harsh to remove stains. Instead, try using a gentler cleaning agent like baking soda on the fabrics. If you are going to get your garments professionally cleaned, make sure the cleaners have experience with washing African print fabrics.

DRY YOUR FABRICS PROPERLY

Wringing or twisting your fabrics to dry will only compromise its rich colours and the tumble dryer is definitely one to avoid, best to hang them out to air dry instead.

 

Generally, when it comes to caring for our African fabric print, we will suggest you get a few wears in before washing it at all. Except there is an obvious stain, or you are trying to get rid of a bad odor, you can air dry thoroughly and iron after each wear. This is especially true for fabrics that have been stoned or embellished.
You may be thinking would I have to go through all of this just to care for my African fabric but rest assured good quality African prints tend to last the test of time. They are in fact, really easy to look after as they are usually 100% Cotton and the colours very rarely run. Once you understand your fabric and how to care for it, it’ll remain popping for a very long time.