From Nigeria With Love: Caring For African Wax Prints

African print is popularly known as "Ankara" or "Dutch Wax Print". The vibrant fabrics come in several grades, but they are mainly categorised into the wax print and fancy prints. These grades are differentiated based on the production style of the fabric. The wax prints are produced from submerging the fabric in dye to create several patterns, which makes them more expensive factoring the time and effort it takes in making patterns and designs, while fancy prints are digitally printed onto the fabric and are considered to be imitations of the actual print, therefore making it cheaper in cost.
At Ray Datern we pride ourselves in using premium African wax print fabric but regardless of which it is, it is important to note that African print needs to be specially cared for to retain its rich, fabulous and vibrant colours. Here are the things you need to avoid and things you must do to in order to retain the quality and longevity of the fabric.



  1. OVERWASHING: Avoid overwashing your African print fabric. It is not to be washed after every wear, rather it should only be washed only when very dirty. Overwashing the fabric will fade the colours on the fabric and make the fabric lose its strength.
  2. HIGH HEAT IRONING: Ironing on high heat will make the fabric fade faster.
  3. SOAKING IN WATER: Avoid soaking the fabric in water to remove a stain, it will fade and soften the fabric faster.
  4. DON'T USE DETERGENT: Detergents are strong and it will wash off the colours on the fabric, making them fade out fast.


  1. AIR DRYING: If you wore your dress for a few hours and didn't sweat, instead of throwing it in the washing machine, turn it inside out and spread it outside in the sun to air dry. This prevents you from overwashing the dress which would fade the colour.
  2. HAND WASH FABRIC ONLY WHEN DIRTY: Don't use a washing machine to wash your dresses, it tends to be too harsh on the fabric by excessively washing the fabric. It is better to hand wash the fabric and avoid over-washing it.
  3. LOW HEAT IRONING AND IRONING INSIDE OUT: Ironing on low heat and turning the fabric inside out helps to maintain the vibrant colours of the fabric without fading it out.
  4. USE MILD/BAR SOAP: Mild/bar soap isn't harsh and it wouldn't fade out the fabric or over soften the fabric.
  5. DRY ON THE LINE: Drying out your African Print dress in the dryer would damage the fabric. it is better to dry the fabric out in the sun on a line.                                                                                                                      So the next time you get a Ray Darten piece, remember to treat it right in other to maintain the outfit in its gorgeous state for a long time. Wear Ray Darten, Dress Beautiful!





Written By: Opeyemi Onilogbo




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