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  • Writer's pictureJoJo

The Origin of Ankara

Updated: Aug 31, 2023


Omo wearing Ethnicroyals' Ankara skirt


The Ankara fabric, also known as African wax print fabric, is a colourful and bold textile that is widely used in clothing, home decor, and accessories. The fabric has become a popular symbol of African culture and heritage, but its origins are actually rooted in the Dutch textile industry.


In the 19th century, Dutch textile manufacturers started producing wax-printed fabrics for the Indonesian market, which were inspired by Indonesian batik textiles. However, the designs and patterns were not well-received by the Indonesian market and the Dutch manufacturers struggled to sell their fabrics.
In the early 20th century, the Dutch began exporting their wax-printed fabrics to West Africa, where they were embraced by local communities who were drawn to the bold and colourful patterns. Over time, local tailors and designers began incorporating the fabrics into traditional African clothing styles, and the Ankara fabric became an integral part of African fashion and culture.
Today, Ankara fabric is produced in various African countries, as well as in Europe and Asia. The fabric is characterized by its vibrant colours, bold patterns, and unique designs, which are often inspired by traditional African motifs and symbols. It continues to be an important symbol of African culture and heritage, and is widely celebrated and worn around the world.

Ankara fabric is a popular choice in fashion for several reasons.
Firstly, the fabric is known for its bright and bold colours, which can add a pop of vibrancy to any outfit. The patterns and designs on Ankara fabric are also unique and eye-catching, making it a great choice for fashion designers looking to create distinctive and memorable pieces.
Secondly, Ankara fabric is versatile and can be used to create a wide range of fashion items, from dresses and skirts to jackets and accessories. This flexibility means that the fabric can be used to create a variety of styles, from traditional African clothing to contemporary fashion pieces.
Thirdly, Ankara fabric is relatively affordable, making it accessible to a wide range of people. It is often seen as a way to express one's cultural heritage and identity, and can be worn to cultural events or special occasions.
Finally, choosing to use Ankara fabric in fashion can be seen as a way to support African textile industries and artisans. By incorporating Ankara fabric into their designs, fashion designers can help to promote and sustain the production of these textiles, which are an important part of African culture and heritage

Face of Ethnicroyals 2023 - Emmanuel

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