When you invest in a stunning African print masterpiece, you want an item that you will cherish for years (and perhaps even generations) to come. To help you do this, we’ve put together our top tips for how to care for your Ankara so you can make it last a lifetime.
1. Wash in cool temperatures
High quality African prints are made from 100% cotton. Due to the way the prints are coloured they can sometimes be colour fast when exposed to high temperatures therefore we recommend hand-washing your Ankara in cool water. Life can sometimes get busy so if you'd rather opt to machine wash, temperatures below 30ºC are preferable - avoiding harsh cleaning agents like bleach. To preserve the vibrance of your Ankara, we suggest you only wash after a few wears depending on soils, stains and odour.
- Wash at low temperatures
- Hand-wash where possible
- Avoid harsh cleaning agents
- Be careful not to over-wash
2. Air dry where possible
Cotton is known to shrink easily, particularly when exposed to the high temperatures of a tumble dryer therefore we recommend air drying where possible. Before drying we suggest giving your African print clothes a little stretch. For bright colours, it's best to avoid drying in direct sunlight as that would cause some of the vibrant colours to fade. If you're in a hurry we suggest tumble drying on a cooler setting and removing your the clothes before they are completely dry and allow the water evaporate slowly, reducing the chances of shrinkage.
- Give it a little stretch before drying
- Air dry where possible
- Avoid direct sunlight when air drying
- Tumble dry on cooler settings
3. Iron on the reverse side
While air drying will significantly reduce the wrinkles on your clothes, you may need to iron or steam for a crisp finish. We recommend ironing at medium heat on the reverse side of your garment. Where your African print is combined with other fabrics you way want to use a cloth between the iron and the fabric for additional protection.
- Iron on the reverse side of your garment
4. Keep the clothes moths away
As cotton is a natural fibre, it is susceptible to clothes moths which can eat through your garments. These clothes moths feed on Keratin which is found in dust and in bodily secretions like sweat. The best way to prevent them is by keeping your clothes and wardrobes clean. Clothes moths are repelled by strong smells so another great way to prevent them is by diffusing your wardrobes with a little lavender, cedar wood or rosemary oil. This will not only keep the moths away but will have your clothes smelling beautiful.
- Keep clothes and wardrobes clean
- Diffuse essential oils in your wardrobes
We hope these tips help you care for your African prints and allow you to enjoy your Ankara garments for many years to come. If you have any questions feel free to drop them in the comments or send us a message.