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Why Ankara is what you should be wearing

Ankara fabric is synonymous with West Africa. Although it’s origins are Dutch- it was once known as Dutch print and intended for use in South East Asia, the fabric found a ready and happy home in  Africa, and shows no signs of leaving.

The prints on Ankara fabrics are bold and bright – certainly not for anyone looking to blend in, and may be made out of 100 per cent pure cotton, or cotton blends.

Available locally, Ankara fabrics especially the cotton ones may cost you slightly more, however, they will serve you better, as they are durable, and unlike cotton blends, will retain their cut and shape for longer.

Available in an array of colours and patterns, there is bound to be something for even the most eclectic shopper.

Taking care of this fabric need not be costly. It may be hand washed or dry-cleaned. When hand washing, be sure not to use harsh detergents and instead opt for mild soap. Neither soak nor use a brush to scrub the fabric clean.

Be careful when rubbing stains. Never use bleach as this will ruin your outfit. Gently rinse the outfit and hang it out to dry with the wrong side out, and away from strong sunlight to prevent it from premature fading.

Iron Ankara outfits on the wrong side, and keep the iron from being in direct contact with the print by ironing the lining.

This way, the heat will permeate down through the lining to the fabric and straighten out the kinks without damaging the print or dulling its shine.

If the garment is made of cotton blends, exercise even more caution with heat.

In this warm weather, try incorporating Ankara fabrics in dresses, shirts, and pants.

If you pick 100 per cent cotton, you will be sure to stay cool over the season, while raising the style stakes.