African wax prints are clothing materials that are popular in Africa, especially in the western side of Africa. According to history, the fabrics originated in Holland and are characterised by lack of colour difference in the front and back side.
The wax prints are a nonverbal way of communication amount African women. The fabrics come in different names. For example, there are those that are named after cities, buildings, occasions, personalities and sayings.
The outfits have become very popular and they are not only produced in Africa and Holland, they are also heavily produced in China.
They are usually sold either as full piece or half piece. A full piece is 12 yards while a half piece is 6 yards.
Main types of the fabrics
There are two broad categories of these fabrics: normal and fancy.
The normal wax print fabrics are usually roller printed and you can feel the colours being separated by the wax. They are made in Holland, Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast and China.
Fancy prints come in costly designs and are often printed digitally. They are known by many names such as roller print, java print and imiwax. They are characterised by high intensity of colour. They also tend to be very rich in colour compared to the normal wax prints.
Fancy prints are cheap and mere imitations of the normal wax prints. When making the purchase you should be keen as some businessmen may try selling them to you posing them as the normal prints. The easiest way of telling them apart is checking the printing. While the normal wax prints are printed on both sides, the fancy prints are printed on only one side.
Guide on how to take good care of the fabrics
For the fabrics to last for a long time you should take good care of them. One of the things that you should do is to avoid drying them on sunnier spots. While the outfits will dry fast when you put them on sunnier areas, they will fade quickly thus having an ugly look. To preserve the vibrant colours you should dry the fabrics in shadier spots.
Another thing that you should do is to avoid ironing the outfits with a very hot iron. Using a very hot iron will not only result to fading of the colours, it will also result to damage of the fabric.
This is what you need to know about African wax prints. To buy high quality fabrics you should ensure that you buy from a reputable store.