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How To Wash and Care for Your African Prints

We’ve seen the incredible rise of African prints in recent years. Whether it's a bold Ankara skirt or a gorgeous Kente dress, these pieces are more than just fashion statements - they're a celebration of our heritage and culture. But let's face it, keeping them looking as fabulous as the day we bought them can be a bit of a challenge. So, we've put together some expert tips to help you care for your beloved African print garments. Let's dive in!

Understanding Your African Print Fabrics

Know Your Fabric

First things first, it’s crucial to know what your garment is made of - African prints like Ankara and Kente each have their own unique needs. Ankara is usually made from 100% cotton, while Kente often blends cotton with silk or rayon. The care for each can vary, so always check the label!

Washing and Drying Techniques

Washing: Hand or Machine?

Hand washing is always the kindest option for African prints. Use cold water and a gentle detergent to keep those colours popping. But we know that hand washing isn't always in our spirit, so if you want to use a machine, opt for a gentle cycle, and consider a mesh bag to protect the fabric.

How to Dry

Never, and we mean never, use a hot dryer on your African prints. It's the fastest way to fade those gorgeous colours. Instead, air-dry them in a shaded area. If you're short on space, laying them flat on a towel works wonders.

Ironing and Storage

Ironing Do’s and Don’ts

Ironing might seem straightforward, but with African prints, you need to be a bit more careful. Always iron on the wrong side of the fabric to avoid shine and use a low to medium heat setting. A little steam can help with stubborn creases.

Storing Your Treasures

How you store your garments can make a huge difference. Hang them if you can, or if you have to fold them, do so gently and avoid overcrowding your drawers. This helps maintain the shape and design integrity of your outfits.

Dealing with Fading

Fading is like the arch-nemesis of African prints, but it's not unbeatable. Wash your garments inside out to protect the colours, and as mentioned earlier, avoid direct sunlight when drying. Also, every now and then, give your clothes a break from frequent washing.

Mending and Upcycling

Little Fixes

Got a small tear or a loose button? Don't just throw your garment away. These small fixes can be easy and can extend the life of your outfit significantly.

Upcycle Your Style

When an outfit starts to show its age, it doesn't mean it's the end. Get creative! Turn a dress into a top, or a skirt into a head wrap. The possibilities are endless, and it's a great way to keep your wardrobe fresh and unique.

Sustainable African Fashion

In today's world, sustainability is key. As we enjoy our gorgeous African print pieces we have the power to make a real difference and make sustainable fashion choices.  

Quality v. Quantity

Invest in high-quality African prints that last longer, rather than buying lots of cheaper items that wear out quickly. It reduces waste and saves you money in the long run.

Repurpose and Recycle

Before throwing out an old garment, think of how it can be repurposed. Can that old dress become a new skirt or a set of unique throw pillows? Recycling helps reduce waste and gives your clothes a second life.

Mindful Washing

Washing clothes less often and using eco-friendly detergents can significantly reduce your environmental footprint. Also, consider air-drying your garments to save energy.

By making these small, mindful changes, you can help lead the way in sustainable fashion, ensuring our beloved African prints can be enjoyed responsibly now and by future generations.


Taking care of African print garments might require a little extra effort, but trust us, it's worth it. These garments are a beautiful expression of our culture and heritage. By following these tips, you can ensure they stay as vibrant and meaningful as the day you first wore them.

These garments are more than just clothes – they're a part of who we are. Let's keep them looking stunning!

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