How to Differentiate Original Ankara Fabrics from Fake Ones

How will you feel if you are given a fake Ankara fabric in place of the original one you intend to buy? Unfortunately, many people are victims of this fraud. Fake ankara fabrics have so much dominated the market to the extent that it is no longer easy to differentiate them from the original ones. But there are some amazing tips to help you spot original ankara fabrics and the fake ones. This is the main aim of this article.

how to spot quality ankara prints and fake ones

About Ankara Fabrics and its Market

Ankara fabric is one of the most popular African print wax fabrics in the African textile market. It is also known as Dutch print wax. The fabric comes in different designs, which makes it suitable for sewing different fashion styles for various occasions (both traditional and modern occasions), for both male and female. Ankara fabric is also popular in Africa because its design patterns, symbols, bright colours, etc. which perfectly reflected the African culture.

Because of the popularity of ankara print wax, many textile companies of different countries (even outside Africa) started producing it, (especially textile companies from Europe and Asia). Most of the poor quality ankara fabrics comes from Asian countries. They produce these low quality Ankara print wax and offer them for sale at a cheaper rate. Because of the cheaper of these low-price ankara fabrics, they tend to dominate the African textile market. Most of these textile companies that produce these low quality ankara fabrics copy the original versions, making it difficult to differentiate between the two versions.

Tips for Identifying High Quality and Low Quality Ankara Print Wax

Here are some helpful tips to help you differentiate between high quality and low quality (fake) ankara fabrics.

Run Water Tests for the Ankara Fabric

One of the easiest ways to identify fake ankara prints is by dipping them into a bowl of water, and then squeezing them. If the ankara material is fake, some of its dye will colourize the water. This is a general test for identifying any fake textile material, not just for Ankara fabrics.

Another form of water test for ankara fabrics is to check the rate at which the ankara material absorbs water. Original ankara fabrics absorb water easily (because they are made of pure cotton), while the fake ones don’t absorb water easily.

Also, original ankara fabrics rumples (wrinkles) when washed, while fake ankara materials don’t usually rumple when washed.

Some of our customers also told us that the original and fake Ankara fabrics taste differently when licked.


Run Material-Type Tests on the Ankara Fabric

High quality ankara fabrics are made of 100% cotton, while fake ones are not made of 100% cotton (or are not even made of cotton at all). One of the qualities of pure cotton materials is that they feel soft when touched, even though they have high resilience and strength. Bring the 2 suspected Ankara fabrics and feel them in your palms. The original Ankara fabric should be soft when touched.

Once you feel the ankara material and its soft you are not convince you that it is of high quality, go ahead and run the second material-type test. The second ankara material type test is the burn test. Cut out small portion of the 2 versions ankara fabric (that is the suspected fake and original materials). Use a lighter or match box to light the 2 materials.

The original ankara fabric does not resist flame, and it burns into a grey, fine-powdered ash (feel the ash). This confirms that the fabric is made of 100% cotton.

But the fake ankara fabric will try to resist the flame for some time, and then curl up and melts, leaving behind a hard black lump-like synthetic fabric. It does not burn to ashes like the original ankara fabric.’

Run the Weight Test on the 2 Suspected Ankara Fabrics

Bring 6 yards each of the 2 suspected ankara fabrics and weigh them by holding them in your hands and comparing their weights. For more accuracy, you can use a scale to weigh them. The original ankara material will have more weight than the fake one.

According to Vlisco super wax, its 100% premium quality cotton Hollandaise ankara print weighs 130g/sq.m.

Run Scratch Resistance Test on the Ankara Fabrics

Although high quality ankara fabrics are soft when felt, they can withstand scratching to a great extent, and are not easily torn by abrasive movements.

Bring the 2 suspected ankara fabrics and scratch each of them with your finger nails or a bottle cock. Now observe the scratched areas on the 2 ankara fabrics. The effect of the scratch will be very visible on the fake ankara fabric (it might even get torn as a result of the scratch).


Other Helpful Tips on How to Spot Original Ankara Fabrics and Fake Ankara Fabrics

Inspect the Front and Back Side of the Ankara Materials

Another way to spot fake ankara fabrics is by inspecting both sides of the fabric. For fake ankara prints, it is easy to tell which side is the front or the back. But for original ankara prints, you will hardly tell which side is the front or the back, unless the front side is embellished. You can even use either side for the original ankara fabric.

original vs fake ankara materials: front and back view of a fake ankara fabric
Front and back views of a fake ankara fabric – Source:

Check the Spelling of the Labels on the Selvedge (or Sticker) of the Ankara Prints

Most fake ankara fabrics usually have wrong label spellings on their selvedge. Some textile companies of these low quality ankara fabrics intentionally mis-spell the brand name of original ankara prints.

For example, instead of “”Dutch Wax”, they may spell it as “Dotch Wax” or instead of “High-Target”, they may spell it as “Hig-Target” or as “Hi-Target”. Wrong label spellings on the selvedge of ankara fabrics simply tell you that the material is not original.

Sometimes the name of the Original Company is mis-spelt. For example, they may spell “Vlisco” as “Visco”.

Compare the Price of the Ankara Prints

Low quality Ankara prints are usually sold very cheap. That is one of the strategies these dubious textile companies use to make their fake fabrics dominate the African market. But do not use the price as the only way to confirm the originality of the Ankara material, as some retailers can offer you both the original and fake Ankara fabrics at the same price. You can quickly compare the 2 materials by feeling them with your palms or by dipping a little piece of each material into water and squeezing them. You can also run the scratch resistance test, or even check the label spellings on the selvedge or sticker of the Ankara fabrics.

YouTube Video: How to Spot Quality Ankara Materials



You have learnt some of the helpful tips for differentiating between high quality Ankara prints and the fake ones. With these tips, you now know how to spot original ankara fabrics and inferior ones. If you are buying these Ankara fabrics in large quantities directly from the production company or from a wholesale company, you can take your time to run some of these originality tests explained in this article. But if you are buying from a retailer in smaller quantity (maybe for personal use), you can quickly run the scratch resistance test, check the label spellings on the selvedge or sticker, inspect both sides of the Ankara fabrics, and even run some of the water tests.

Recommended Business and Entrepreneurship Books

the passionate entrepreneurs strategies book by buzzer joseph

The Passionate Entrepreneur’s Strategies: Learn how to discover business ideas that will be successful, grow multiple online income streams, make money from home, attract new & retain customers, applications of SWOT analysis in any business, skills that will help you succeed as an entrepreneur, self-discipline, etc. Lucrative Business Ideas Series Book 1. By Buzzer Joseph. Read more about the book.

how to make money from blogging and affiliate marketing book by buzzer joseph

How to Make Money from Blogging & Affiliate Marketing: Learn the Step by Step Guide of Creating, Growing & Optimizing your WordPress Blog from Scratch for Search Engines (SEO) & How to Make Money through Google AdSense, Affiliate Marketing & Other Strategies for Earning Passive Income Online. Lucrative Business Ideas Series Book 2. By Buzzer Joseph. Read more about the book.

how to make money self publishing kindle books by buzzer joseph

How to Make Money Self-Publishing Kindle Books for Beginners: Learn the Step by Step Guide to Self-Publish a Best Selling Book on Amazon KDP, How to Design Book Covers with Adobe Photoshop, Format, Edit & Proofread your Book Manuscript with Microsoft Word, Promote your Book on Various Online Platforms & Earn Monthly Passive Income Online. Lucrative Business Ideas Series Book 3. By Buzzer Joseph. Read more about the book.

diy grid and off-grid solar pv installation guide by buzzer joseph

Complete Solar PV System Installation Guide: DIY guide on how to install grid-connected & off-grid solar PV systems, how to build solar-powered electric cars, convert conventional cars to electric cars, online & offline ways to make money from solar energy sector (including stocks), electrical wiring & protection system installation guides, plus free resources for skill acquisition and personal development. Lucrative Business Ideas Series Book 4. By Buzzer Joseph. Read more about the book.

how to make money from cryptocurrency trading and investments by buzzer joseph

How to Make Money from Crypto Trading & Investing for Beginners: Step by step guide with screenshots on the basics of blockchain technology, bitcoin & altcoins, crypto security tips, cryptocurrency market analysis (FA & TA), long term & short term trading, how to calculate your profits in excel, legit ways to make money with cryptocurrencies, DeFi yield farming & staking, how to use any centralized & decentralized exchange platform & more, plus crypto investment bonus! Lucrative Business Ideas Series Book 5. By Buzzer Joseph. Read more about the book.

blockchain practical guide kindle book by buzzer joseph

Blockchain Practical Guide: Step by step guide with pictures, on how to monetize the latest blockchain technology trends: crypto trading & tools, especially Ethereum, DeFi, Staking, NFTs, Top 100 Play-to-Earn (P2E) & NFT games, Web 3.0, Metaverse, Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), blockchain job opportunities, with crypto investment bonus! Lucrative Business Ideas Series Book 6. By Buzzer Joseph. Read more about the book.

how to make money with blockchain web3 apps kindle book by buzzer joseph and kelly joseph

How to Make Money with Blockchain Web3 Apps: Step by Step Guide with Screenshots and Videos on How to Make Money from Blockchain and Web3 Projects – NFTs, Play-to-Earn (P2E) Games, Move-to-Earn (M2E) Apps, Watch-to-Earn (W2E) Apps, SocialFi and GameFi Apps, with crypto investment bonus! Lucrative Business Ideas Series Book 7. By Buzzer Joseph and Kelly Joseph. Read more about the book.

Subscribe to Our Blog Newsletters (Enter your email address)

* indicates required
Follow us on social media

Recommended For You

About the Author: Buzzer Joseph

I am an entrepreneur who believes that anybody can achieve whatever goal he/she sets, so long as you follow the right path. I fully decided to take entrepreneurship as a lifestyle in 2014 and have never regretted that decision. Even though I failed many times, but my failures helped me discover my hidden potentials. I blog at Buzzing Point - and Microsoft Tutorials - where I help young entrepreneurs to discover their hidden potentials and how to turn their passions to income streams. I am also a guest blogger at In fact, I can't do without the internet. I love surfing the net and making research, and then updating my fans on the latest buzzing info. I am also active in Quora, especially in my spaces, Lucrative Business Ideas - and Free Blockchain Tools -

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *