What is Ankara?
When many hear the word ankara, the country Turkey may come to mind since Ankara is the capital of Turkey. However, ankara is also the general term used for African fabrics. There are many terms or names used to describe African fabrics such as African wax prints, Dutch wax, batik and the list goes on. The general theme of all African prints is vibrant cotton fabrics with tribal patterns.
Ankara fabric was originally influenced by the Indonesian way of dyeing clothing called Batik, hence the reason why some may refer to it as such. However, ankara fabrics are made through the Dutch wax method. This method began in 1800 Indonesia under Dutch colonization. Many in Indonesia did not take to this kind of dyeing method, but it gained traction in Africa. The Dutch wax method spread quickly and became the standard in African clothing.
Types of African Patterns
Ankara patterns are normally for formal African attire, however, it can be worn for informal events. One of the more popular patterns that most people are familiar with is the kente patterns. Kente pattern dates over 370 years, with its origin from the Asanti people of Ghana. Many ankara patterns include many vibrant tribal geometric designs.
Popular Ankara Prints
Of course, we know that ankara fabric is used for formal wear, such as weddings and other formal events.
However, the list of things you can make out of African fabric is endless, Shower curtains, pillows, jewelry, shoes, swimwear, etc. I'm sure you get the point by now that African fabric is very versatile.