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My Africa

Ankara - Wax Print Petal | Red/Old Royal

The bright and vibrant fabrics used in traditional Ankara wax prints have inspired this beautifully crafted throw. Commonly used for clothing, particularly in West Africa, these prints are also used as a form of nonverbal communication between African women. There are many theories on how the African wax prints were introduced to the region, but most speculate they came from Dutch traders wanting to replicate the Indonesian Java wax batik technique. In West Africa, the patterns have evolved in a way that has come to represent Africa as a whole. The process of making Ankara wax patterns is highly respected as a craft and a labour-intensive art form. Often highly symbolic, some wax print designs are named after personalities, cities, buildings, sayings or occasions.