It's almost Ankara Fabric Appreciation Week! An online social event from the 10th to 16th of July predominantly on Instagram put together by Juilet Uzor and Lena King using the devoted hashtag #sewankarafabric. It is a week dedicated to a celebration of African wax prints, fabric and fashion!
Juliet Uzor, the renowned winner of BBC's Great British Sewing Bee in April 2019, is a London-based primary school teacher and avid sewist. Her passion for sewing extends beyond personal achievement, as she strives to inspire others to embark on their own creative sewing journeys. With a mission to empower individuals to confidently sew their own fashionable pieces, Juliet shares her expertise through her blog, YouTube videos, and Instagram. Her platform, Sew So Natural, is a hub for aspiring sewists seeking guidance, inspiration, and the opportunity to learn from her expertise. Juliet Uzor invites sewing enthusiasts of all levels to embrace their creativity and join her in the wonderful world of sewing.
Lena King, a lover of all things African wax print was inspired to start Ankara Fabric Appreciation Week to increase inclusivity and unify sewers after a lack of representation in magazines, blogs etc. Lena King wanted to see more black-owned businesses and black creatives emerge out of the shadows and show off their brilliant work. Her interview with By Hand London shares an insightful view on her relationship with African wax print fabric “Apart from it being absolutely fabulous fabric, strong and forgiving to sew with, vibrant, lush and long-lasting, and a piece of artwork with a story, I love the feeling that it connects me with Ghana, my original homeland. I love that when I wear it in a traditional garment it makes me feel bold, feminine and confident where once I felt embarrassed. “ One of Lena King’s favourite places to buy African wax print fabric is right here from Dovetailed London, have a read at her makes with our fabric here.
The aim of Ankara Appreciation Week is to learn about African wax print fabric, appreciate it and support small businesses that sell this wonderful fabric. Discussions during last year's event surrounded traditions, unique and sacred fabrics, appropriation and mostly importantly lots of education and celebration.
If you want to learn more about Ankara fabric have a listen at Lena King’s guest appearance on the un:Cut podcast and watch Juliet Uzor’s video Ankara Fabrics : EVERYTHING you need to know about African Wax Fabrics
Have you ever experienced the joy of creating a stunning outfit using African wax print fabric, also known as Ankara? The satisfaction of sewing a garment and then proudly wearing it is a match made in heaven. Now, you have an exciting opportunity to showcase your creation and explore the incredible work of fellow makers. Imagine a gallery filled with a delightful array of outfits and pattern ideas, ready to ignite your creative spark.
Get ready to join in the fun! From the 10th to the 15th of July, share your Ankara garment on Instagram and tag it with pride. But that's not all – immerse yourself in a world of inspiration by browsing the hashtag and discovering the vast variety of incredible makes crafted by talented sewists.
Have a quick look at this video of last year's picnic which rounded off the event, they plan to have another one this year as well!
Want to sew with African fabric for Ankara Appreciation Week? Shop here
Looking for a range of sewing patterns designed specifically with African wax print fabric in mind, shop here.
Want to make your own but with a little help? Shop workshops here.