Genuine Ankara from Ghana Textiles Printing Co. Ghana, Africa
GTP, Ghana Textiles Printing Company LTD. is a subsidiary of Vlisco. Vlisco was founded in 1846 by the Dutch through the appropriation of Batik wax-resist dyeing from Indonesia. The Dutch had a difficult time selling their fabric back to the people of Indonesia, so they began selling to places on their trade roots of west and central Africa. They were the main supplier to Africa until the 1960's.
Ankara fabric is another name for African Wax or Dutch Wax fabric. The fabric is made based on the ancient technique of “wax-resist” dyeing. Most know this as Batik. The style is believed to have originated from Southeast Asia, most likely China, Japan, or Indonesia where it is still popular today. However, Ankara has evolved into a modern production using machines, silk screens and hand-crafted copper rollers to apply the wax.
GTP began in 1966 as a local business making textiles for indigenous people. This company provides jobs and security for the local population. GTP not only provides locals with a stable economy but they also support country hospitals by providing bed sheets and pillowcases.
GTP produces hundreds of designs each year. Many of the designs have cultural meaning, however they are now marketing to a younger crowd and have added many modern versions to their lines. NuStyle is a youthful, expressive version of this fabric. Adepa Dumas is a slightly higher quality of traditional and modern motifs.
Many women have been able to make a living or even prosper in their own business by selling the highly sought-after textiles. They are empowered to open shops in the marketplace to support their families and take pride in what they do for a living.
Quality and durability are sought after attributes with Ankara fabrics. Bright vivid colors and wonderful patterns are a sign of their national pride. The fabrics are often used for ceremony or formal occasions such as christening, weddings or funerals. You will see both men and women don the clothing with matching patterns to identify the whole family as a group.
There is so much more I could say about the fabulous fabric from GTP. In future blogs I will discuss the history of African wax prints, the symbolism of colors, and the names of patterns with their meanings. I am proud to offer Genuine Ankara fabric from GTP. Help support a community effort by purchasing Genuine Ankara.
Visit our Pattern section to download a Free pattern for a washable grocery bag!
Happy sewing, Sandra