African wax print clothing fabrics (commonly known as “Ankara” in West Africa and “Kitenge” in East Africa). It is also known as “African prints”, “African wax prints”, ” Holland wax”, and “Dutch wax”. It is 100% cotton fabrics with vibrant patterns. It was first produced in Indonesia. It is usually colorful with different prints designs and patterns. However, there is a massive supply of Ankara fabrics out there and it is pertinent if you are able to spot the fake from the original.

Things To Look out For

1: Texture

2: Color and Prints

3: Water Resistance

4: size and Length



The fake Ankara fabrics are rough or coarse while the original fabric is always smoother when touched.

Color And Print Design

African fabrics or Ankara prints tend to have a deeper colour and the fake ones always have a copy printed on one side of the fabric. On the other hand, the real Ankara fabric has the designs printed on both sides and always difficult to differentiate the back from the front.

Water Resistance

If you put a little water and rub it on the body of the material if it wears off then it is fake super fake because fake Ankara materials always wash off its colour when dipped in water.

Size And Length

Any Ankara fabric that is printed in any yard shorter than 12 or 6 yards is fake because original Ankara material is always printed in 12 or 6 yards I.e either printed in full (12 yards) or half yards (6 yards).

Original Ankara fabrics always have the manufacturer’s name, product name, and design number printed at the selvedge of the fabric.

N/B. The coarseness is the major thing to look out for when buying Ankara fabric.