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Surprising origin of Ankara and fabulous styles to try in 2020

It's a new year and decade! New years mark new beginnings and a new journey to self betterment and improvement. You can better yourself in several ways in the New Year and one particular way to do that is to improve on your dressing and keep your fashion sense trendy. Ankara is a staple in every Nigerian's wardrobe; let’s briefly look at the origin of Ankara.

The Ankara fabric is known by many names such as Dutch wax print, Real English wax, Veritable Java Print, and African wax prints. Although the Ankara fabric is common and widely used in Nigeria, its origin is shockingly not African. The Ankara cloth was created in Indonesia using the batik technique which for long has been indigenous to Indonesia. Initially, the cloth arrived in West Africa and then Nigeria through Slaves and mercenaries recruited from West Africa to be part of the Indonesian army who took a liking to Batik and returned to West Africa with the cloth. The Dutch who were the ones that colonized Indonesia tried to make their own version of this textile. Their version of the textile was produced with machines, unlike the handmade ones of the Indonesians. Contrary to the hope of the Dutch, their version of the fabric was not widely accepted in Indonesia and in the European market; hence they started shipping it down to West Africa. In West Africa as a whole and in Nigeria particularly, the fabric gained currency due to its several patterns, and since then has become a staple in every West African’s wardrobe. Also it has made its way to the international arena and can be seen on several runways. In Nigeria today, the use of the fabric ranges from casual wear, to owambe wear (weddings, burial ceremonies, birthday and naming ceremonies).

Having discussed the origin of the fabric, here are some Ankara styles that will help keep your slay game on point this year:

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African Ankara Dutch Indonesia Nigeria


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