African Prints are known for their diverse shiny colorful designs. The Ghanaian Kente has a rich blend of colors and most designs have a minimum of three colors. African Prints Wax also combines colors in a wide variety of designs like blocks, shapes, animal shape or even letters of the English Alphabet.
However most African Prints do not last as long as expected because of inadequate care. These prints often fade, tear or even color bleed because people do not know how to wash them properly and how to keep them shiny.
Here are five tips to take care of your African Prints. Keep reading to discover how to make your fabric shine as well as how to know if an African prints fabric color will bleed.
1. Know your African Prints Fabric
It is important to know the type of material your African Prints is made of. Here are a few factors you should consider before caring for your African Prints fabric.
- Texture: The texture of your material will determine how to care for it. An example is the superprint which often has a polyethylene-like texture and can tear easily if you do not handle it well. For this kind of material, you have to wash gently and ensure the heat in your iron is not high while ironing.
- Color bleed: There are African Prints fabrics that bleed easily. You should wash them separately. Avoid washing them too often so as to preserve the colors.
Tip 1: An easy way to know a fabric will color bleed is to scrub any part of the fabric in between your hands. If there are color stains on your finger, then it would definitely color bleed.
2. Obey the laws for washing African Prints.
If you value your African Prints, you may need to make time to wash them properly and carefully. This is best done by hand washing them.
You can wash the fabrics using mild soap and if you must use detergent, you can use a mild detergent. It is best to use cold or lukewarm water to wash and rinse the fabric
For those using the machine, the cycle should be on the non-spin cycle and the temperature of the water should not exceed 30 degrees. If the temperature of the water is too high, it can cause the colors to bleed or make the fabrics (which are 100% cotton) to shrink.
After washing and rinsing the fabrics at least twice, do not wring out the water, you can spread them out in a cool shade to dry.
NOTE: Spreading the fabric under direct sunlight can cause the colors on it to fade.
Tip 2: To keep your fabric shiny, add a tablespoon of salt to the wash water.
3. Avoid washing your Hollandaise and Hitarget wax wrappers everytime after wearing them.
It might be shocking but avoid washing your wax wrappers unless necessary. The Hollandaise and Hitarget wax (only for wrappers) do not need to be washed regularly. Despite the high quality of these materials, they are very shiny and colorful and the colors can bleed if they are washed too regularly.
After wearing these fabrics, be sure to sun dry them, fold and keep them in a clean place.
Tip 3: Always wash the bottom edges of your African Prints wrappers. These areas come in contact with dust, sand or dirt.
4: Ironing brings out the shine in your African Prints Fabrics.
Believe it or not, ironing brings your fabric to life.
You have to iron the material inside out to preserve the colors. You should also use the cotton setting of your iron. However, you may need to be careful if there are other kinds of fabric like linen attached to the cloth.
Ensure the heat of iron is not high so that you do not burn the material
Make it a habit to iron your fabric not just to give it fit because it makes the colors shine and stand out.
5. Keep your African Prints Fabrics safe especially from rodents.
Rodents have nothing against cloth materials and can add them to their menu if need be. It is important to keep your fabrics in a clean, dry and safe place. You can keep the materials you seldom wear in a clean box and close it—make sure it is secure. You can hang your dresses in your wardrobe if you are sure there are no rodents around.
We hope you learnt something from this article. Taking care of your African Prints fabrics will make them last longer.