African wax prints come in different colours, designs and patterns. The fabric is usually made of cotton and produced with a wide variety of chemicals such as dyes. In Ghana, the prints are known as Ntoma. Nigerians on the other hand refer to it as Ankara.
The fabric has been in existence for so many years. There are reputable textile companies and brands that ensure that consumers have these wax prints always. These companies always have different products in the market, for men outfits, ladies dress styles and kidswear.
A few of these textile companies and brands are Printex, Daviva, Vlisco, Akosombo Textile Limited, Hollandais and Hitarget just to mention a few. Because there are different brands, society is offered a wide variety of African was prints designs as said earlier.
After purchasing one, two or more of these wax prints, one often makes an outfit or different clothes styles from them. The outfit is washed, ironed and kept somewhere for some time. This becomes a routine that is being followed since the outfit is worn more times or once in a while.
This article, however, is purposely to give you few tips on how to properly care for your beautiful Ankara or Ntoma clothes. Paying attention to these guidelines will help maintain its beauty, texture and prevent it from fading or looking old.
The first thing to discuss is washing, which is very vital. Choose the right soap or detergent. There are different mild washing soaps available in the market. They range from liquid soaps, bar washing soaps or washing powders for everyone to consider.
Avoid washing the garment together with other different clothes in different colours. This is because one needs to prevent colour bleeding or the colourfastness of other fabrics.
Some colours may run into each other which will not be good for the wax prints. Therefore the colourfastness test must always be carried out first when it comes to washing.
It is advisable to wash with cold water preferably by hand. Wash gently and avoid excessive rubbing on the surface. It is highly recommended to turn the garments inside out when washing. Also, one must pay more attention to areas such as collars, armholes, the hem of the outfit when washing.
Although hand washing is preferable, other people may want to use the washing machine. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, just ensure that the water is cold and the machine is set at the right temperature.
Apart from the above washing tips, one can also use Salt when washing. Salt contains some properties which help in removing stains. A moderate amount of it can be added to the water when washing, to maintain the colours of the fabric, avoid fading as well.
Drying can be done on a drying line or in a dryer. Ensure that the water in the garment is squeezed out well. This will enable the garment to dry faster in the air. It is often advisable not to dry in direct sun rays, though others prefer to do so. The purpose of this is to prevent the direct sun rays from damaging the fabric.
When using a dryer, on the other hand, make sure it is at the right heat temperature for the garment to dry well.
Often, the fabric may be crumpled or have creases in them. When ironing, verify that the iron temperature is suitable for cotton fabrics. It can be at low heat temperature to prevent the fabric from burning.
In the absence of having an iron, some people have a steamer. Steamers are a great way of getting fabric smooth surfaces. They are also recommended once they are handled with care and placed in the right temperature setting. Steams from both ironing appliances as shown below are suitable for pressing.
Storage can be done in several ways. Other people want to fold their garments while others, on the other hand, prefer to hang them. Both methods can be carried out in the wardrobe or on a cloth hanging rack respectively.
One must ensure that the garments are well kept in a cool dry place. The place can be well ventilated and avoid the garments coming in contact with dust because this can make the fabric surface dirty.
Again, one can go the extra mile to add camphor balls, also known as naphthalene to garments where they are stored. This can be optional, but the significance of this is to prevent moth larvae from breeding in clothes. It drives away other insects that may damage the fabric. A picture of the naphthalene balls in the package is shown below;
In conclusion, there are several other ways for caring for our prestigious African wax prints. However, following these guidelines will enable consumers to care for African wax prints. This will help maintain its beauty and texture for a long time.
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