Kitenge fabric (also know as ‘ankara fabric‘ in West Africa) is a highly respected craft and labour-intensive art form. There are several different steps in the production process when making African ankara fabric.
Our brightly coloured fabrics have fantastic colourfastness and the more you wash the fabric, by hand or machine, the softer it becomes. This is why our customers love how comfortable our African print clothing is to wear.
Learn how to wash African wax print fabric.
Whether you are looking to make your own clothes, some curtains, cushions or have a quilting project on the go, we have a range of different coloured fabrics and one of a kind patterns.
Find out what you can make with your African print fabric.
The fabrics are available in 1 to 5 individually cut yards or 6 yard pieces so that you can order enough to meet your project requirements. The width of the African kitenge fabric is 46 inches.
There may also be some fat quarters available in some of the fabric prints for quilters and craftspeople. Any fabric offcuts that we are unable to sell or use to make men’s accessories are donated to female Tanzanian artisans, schools and charities.
As an ethical and sustainable fashion brand, as well as a social enterprise, we believe in zero waste and protecting the environment as much as possible. All fabrics are shipped worldwide from Tanzania including online tracking.
Please contact us with any questions you may have and we shall be more than happy to help.
Is the fabric sustainable?
Kitenge’s authentic African wax print fabrics are made using 100% cotton grown in Africa. Cotton is a natural fibre that is completely biodegradable.
How to care for African wax print fabric
African wax print fabric can either be washed by hand or a machine. We recommend washing Ankara fabrics in cold water or 30 degrees. Use a mild washing powder, line dry out of direct sunlight and iron using the cotton setting.
What is African wax fabric made of?
Authentic African wax print fabric is 100% cotton, a natural fibre that is completely biodegradable. Melted, molten wax is used to print the design onto both sides of the cloth. The wax is removed by washing the cloth either before or after the colouration process.
How to notice the difference between real and counterfeit fabric?
There are several ways you can easily tell the difference. It’s easier if you can see and touch the fabrics. Is the fabric price cheap? Does the fabric feel harsh, hard and stiff? Is the design printed on both sides of the fabric?
Read our blog on how to tell the difference between real and counterfeit African wax print fabric.
Does the fabric need to be pre-washed before sewing?
We recommend pre-washing African wax print fabric before sewing especially if you’re planning to make clothing. This will ensure the 100% cotton is pre-shrunk before you use it for the first time. It also helps to soften the fabric, which makes it easier to cut and sew.
How to set the colours and stop the dye from bleeding when washed
We recommend soaking African wax print fabric overnight in cold water with a few tablespoons of white vinegar to help set the dye colours. Then pre-wash the fabric by hand or in a machine using cold water (or 30 degrees) and mild washing powder.
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