The Ultimate Guide: What is Ankara Fabric and Buying Tips.


Are you a fashion enthusiast who loves experimenting with different styles and fabrics? If yes, then you must have come across Ankara fabric at some point. Ankara fabric, also known as African wax print fabric, native to West Africa, is a versatile fabric that has gained immense popularity in the fashion world. It is vibrant, colorful, and intricate, with each design telling a story. 

In this blog, we will explore what is Ankara fabric, the materials used in making it, and how African wax print fabric is made. We will also dive into the different styles and designs and what Ankara fabric can be used for, be it fashion or home decor. Lastly, we have got you covered on where you can wholesale African print fabric—keeping your wardrobe updated and fashionable. So, let’s unravel the beauty, elegance, and artistic mastery of Ankara fabric together.

What is Ankara Fabric?

Ankara fabric is a 100% cotton textile that is popularly known for its vibrant patterns and bold motifs. It is also referred to as African print, Ankara wax print, Holland wax, or Dutch wax. The unique patterns of Ankara fabrics are created using the Batik technique, an Indonesian wax-resistant dying method. The fabrics are mostly used to create clothing and accessories, and their bright colors, intricate designs, and hand-made patterns makes them culturally significant. Historically, Ankara fabrics were used as a nonverbal communication tool among African women for various social purposes. When purchasing Ankara fabrics, it is essential to check for the quality of the material and the authenticity of the patterns to ensure value for money.

What is Ankara Fabric

The History of Ankara Fabric

The history of Ankara fabric is quite fascinating. Originally, the fabric was created by the Dutch for the Indonesian textile market. Dutch textile manufacturers brought samples of batik fabrics from Indonesia and began to produce cheaper batik-inspired imitation fabrics using machines to print the fabric in bulk. The fabric then became popular in West African countries, mainly because West African soldiers brought batik fabrics home after serving in Indonesia. This contributed to the popularity of the fabric in West Africa. 

Several different manufacturers in Europe produced the fabric for many years before manufacturing expanded to African countries. Nowadays, Ankara fabric is widely produced in many countries worldwide and is loved for its vibrant colors and intricate designs.

Material of Ankara Fabric

Ankara fabric is made from 100% cotton, which is the main material used in its production, grown and used widely in many African countries. Cotton is famous for being comfortable and its ability to accept various colors and pigments in coloration processes. Ankara fabrics usually come in bright colors, unique designs, and patterns that are hand-made, giving it a sense of rich cultural meaning. The versatile material can be used to create a wide range of clothing and accessories, from dresses to bags, shoes to jewelry. 

If you’re planning on buying some Ankara fabric, keep in mind that the material tends to shrink after washing, so it’s recommended to buy a larger size than needed. Furthermore, it’s important to purchase Ankara fabric from reputable sellers to ensure quality materials that are not counterfeit.


Ankara fabric is made from cotton, which is known for its breathability, comfort, and ability to accept dyes and pigments. Ankara fabric is made using a technique called Batik, a wax-resistant dying method originating from Indonesia. Traditional Ankara fabric is made by draping the cloth over a carved wooden frame and pouring hot wax onto the fabric. The wax creates a resist effect that keeps the dye from penetrating the fabric, resulting in unique and intricate patterns.

The quality of the Ankara fabric depends on the type of cotton used to make it and the manufacturing processes. Therefore, when purchasing Ankara fabric, it’s crucial to pay attention to the quality of the cotton and the manufacturing process to ensure that you are getting the best quality fabric for your project.


Ankara fabric is a 100% cotton fabric that is well-known for its vibrant patterns and bold motifs. Cotton is the primary material used in producing Ankara fabrics since it is comfortable to wear and long-lasting. Many Ankara fabrics have intricate and hand-made designs that reflect the rich cultural heritage of Africa.

While Ankara is traditionally made using Batik, a wax-resistant dying method that originated in Indonesia, modern versions of Ankara fabric may also be made using synthetic materials like polyester. However, these fabrics may not have the same high-quality and durability as traditional cotton Ankara fabrics. Ultimately, when choosing Ankara fabric, it’s important to consider the material and quality to ensure that you are getting a high-quality product.

How is African Wax Print Fabric Made?

African wax print fabric, commonly known as Ankara fabric, is made using a wax-resist dyeing technique known as batik. This process of fabric production originates from Indonesia and involves the application of hot wax on the fabric using a wooden frame. The wax is then removed, and the fabric is dipped in an indigo bath. The non-waxed areas become vibrant blue, and the wax is partially removed using a unique machine. Once the cloth is dry, the coloring process begins. The color tones and cracking effect vary from one batch to another, giving each design a unique look. 

Due to the intricate and detailed manufacturing process, Ankara fabric tends to be more expensive than other types of fabric. When buying Ankara fabric, it’s important to consider the quality of the material and the patterns to get the best experience out of this beautiful and culturally rich fabric.

How is African Wax Print Fabric Made - Cxdqtex

African Print Fabric Styles & Designs

Ankara fabric, also known as African print fabric, has a rich cultural history and is a popular textile used in African fashion. The fabric comes in various styles and designs that change frequently, making it difficult to purchase the same fabric twice. African print fabric designs include flowers, plants, animal print (particularly birds), tribal print, and geometric shapes. The fabric is most commonly used for making dresses, skirts, and head wraps. 

If you’re looking to purchase Ankara fabric, it’s highly recommended to visit a physical shop or purchase from a reputable online store to ensure authenticity and avoid counterfeit products. Additionally, be sure to consider the quality, weight, and durability when purchasing Ankara fabric to ensure the best value for your money.

Polyester Africa Market Yellow Ankara Fabric - Cxdqtex
Polyester Africa Market Yellow Ankara Fabric
Polyester Africa Market Royal Blue Ankara Fabric - Cxdqtex
Polyester Africa Market Royal Blue Ankara Fabric
100%Polyester Africa Market Brown Ankara Fabric - Cxdqtex
100%Polyester Africa Market Brown Ankara Fabric

What Can Ankara Fabric Be Used For?

Ankara fabric is a highly versatile type of fabric made of 100% cotton. Ankara fabric is renowned for its vibrant patterns and bold motifs, which make it ideal for a variety of clothing items, such as traditional African dresses and skirts. However, due to its versatility and beauty, it is now being used for modern bags and scarves as well.

Since Ankara fabrics are made manually, they carry a lot of symbolism and meaning. They allow people to convey messages and for individuals to express themselves through their clothing, making them highly popular among many people. The fabric is made using a wax-resistant dyeing method called Batik, which originated in Indonesia. This dyeing method ensures that the colors remain bright and vibrant even after multiple washes.

Cotton, the material used to make Ankara fabric, is known for its breathability and comfort. The fabric is also able to absorb dye and pigments, making it an excellent canvas for the bold and beautiful designs that are characteristic of Ankara fabric. From clothing to accessories, the possibilities are endless when it comes to using Ankara fabric.

Wholesale African Print Fabric from Cxdqtex

Cxdqtex is a renowned supplier of African print fabric, shipping promptly from Tanzania. The fabric sold by Cxdqtex is manufactured using the wax-resist dyeing technique called batik. This technique involves covering certain parts of the fabric with wax, while the rest is dyed. This creates a unique and intricate design, and no two fabrics are the same. Cxdqtex offers wholesale African print fabric which is 100% cotton, and is also referred to as ‘kitenge’ or ‘Ankara’ fabric. All of their fabrics are inspired by West Africa and other African regions, allowing for a unique and cultural look. With professional equipment and stable delivery, Cxdqtex provides each customer with high-quality African print fabric.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Special About Ankara Fabric?

Ankara fabric is a type of African wax print fabric that is known for its vibrant colors and bold patterns. It is especially unique because each design is often steeped in cultural significance and history, with different motifs representing different African tribes, countries, or even political events. Additionally, Ankara fabric is often made with high-quality cotton that is both durable and comfortable to wear, making it a popular choice for clothing and accessories.

What Kind of Fabric is Ankara?

Ankara fabric is a colorful, wax-resistant cotton fabric that is commonly used in African fashion. It is known for its vibrant patterns and bold designs, and is often used to create traditional African clothing, as well as modern fashion styles. The fabric is named after the capital city of Turkey, as it was originally inspired by Indonesian batik fabrics that were brought to Turkey and eventually made their way to West Africa.

Is Ankara Fabric Stretchy?

Ankara fabric is typically made from 100% cotton and is not very stretchy. However, some manufacturers may add a small percentage of spandex or elastane to make it slightly stretchy. Ultimately, it depends on the specific fabric and its construction. If you are looking for a stretchy fabric, it is best to check the fabric content and stretch before purchasing.

How To Wash Ankara Fabric?

To wash Ankara fabric, start by checking the care label for specific washing instructions. If the fabric is washable, hand washing is recommended using mild detergent and cool water. Avoid using bleach or fabric softener.

Gently agitate the fabric in the water, then rinse thoroughly and hang to dry in a shaded area. Avoid wringing or twisting the fabric, as this can cause damage. Iron the fabric on a low heat setting if necessary, taking care to avoid any embellishments or decorations.

Is There a Difference Between Plain and Patterned Ankara Fabrics?

Yes, there is a difference between plain and patterned Ankara fabrics. Plain Ankara fabrics are solid colored and lack any bold or intricate designs, while patterned Ankara fabrics feature a variety of designs and motifs that can range from subtle to bold. The choice between plain or patterned fabric often depends on personal preference and the intended use of the fabric, whether it be for clothing, accessories, or home decor.

What Are the Benefits of Using Ankara Fabric?

Ankara fabric has many benefits, including its durability and versatility. It can be used to make a variety of clothing items, accessories, and home decor. The fabric is also available in a wide range of colors, patterns, and designs, making it easy to find something that suits your individual style. Additionally, Ankara fabric is often made from 100% cotton, which is a natural, breathable material that is gentle on the skin. Finally, by purchasing Ankara fabric, you are supporting the African textile industry and helping to promote cultural preservation.


Ankara fabric is synonymous with African fashion and has become a phenomenon in contemporary global fashion culture. The vibrant colors and designs of Ankara fabrics have been embraced worldwide as they represent the rich culture and history of Africa. 

However, selecting the right Ankara fabric can be a bit confusing, especially if you are new to it. You need to know what to look for when buying Ankara fabric and how to identify the best quality. If you want to get your hands on the best Ankara fabric, get in touch with us to receive a quote and commercial for your tailor-made Ankara fabric.

Submit Your Request