African print fabrics have long been a symbol of high-quality fashion throughout the African continent. There are two main types of African print fabrics: wax prints and fancy prints. Wax prints are more expensive.
The fancy prints on the other hand, often mimic or copy the designs of existing wax print designs but they are cheaper to make. Let’s find out more about the two main types of African Print.
One feature of a wax print is the lack of difference in the color intensity of the front and back. They often have the look and feel of a wax coating on the surface of the fabric. Natural cracking occurs throughout the colour blocks, adding interest to the designs and giving textiles a traditional feel, reflecting African pride.
Wax prints are mostly made in Holland, in Nigeria, Ivory Coast, and Ghana. Most of the fabrics produced in Ghana have local names such as; ‘Yaw Donkor’, ‘Bosu’,‘Ama Serwaa’, ‘Efie mmosea’ etc.
Fancy prints are collection of roller printed cloths, which do not have the feel of colors being separated by the wax. Fancy prints do not have this same feel. In general they are cheap are based on industry print. They also tend to have a more intense, deeper colour. Plus, a copy will only be printed on one side of the fabric.
At first, Fancy Prints were made with engraved metal rollers but more recently they are produced using rotary screen-printing process and majority are produced in China.
When Choosing Prints
The wax fabric can be sorted into categories of quality due to the processes of manufacturing. Due to the lengthy stages of its production, wax prints are more expensive to make than fancy prints. Their finished designs are not only clear on both sides they have distinct colour combinations.
Fancy fabrics, are not expected to last for any length of time, as opposed to true African wax print, which if cared for properly, can last a lifetime.