At finnkibuye we only work with African fabrics. For now mostly working with Kitenge also known as Ankara and the agali awamu handwoven cotton fabric. Much as both are cotton fabrics, they do require different kind of care.
if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact our customer service!
The large amount of colours and patterns of the Kitenge fabric of our garments makes it irresistible yet tricky to maintain. This is where we learn to treat a fabric with utmost care.
Test for bleaching:
The first thing to consider before washing your print fabric is to test whether it’s bleaching or not. Here’s how you do it. Pour mild washing soap on a little portion of your fabric (the hem). Add water, then wash. If it removes colour, then it’s bleaching and must be separated from other fabrics.
Separate prints from others:
It’s always a good idea to separate prints from other fabrics when washing. Mixing and washing your Kitenge with other fabrics might destroy other light coloured clothes incase your Kitenge sheds some colours.
Mind the temperature:
Hand wash in cold or lukewarm water only. Should you decide to use the washer, turn off spin cycle and wash on mild cycle.
No harsh detergent:
Use mild bar soaps and avoid bleaches or detergents.
Use salt as sealant:
Toss your Kitenge fabric into the wash with a tablespoon of salt. The chloride content of the salt will help seal the colour in. This also works for any fabric that lose colour during a wash.
Clean parts only:
Sometimes it is adviceable to treat just area that needs to be treated, you don’t necessarily have to wash the whole of the material.
Use stainre moval:
Stains are sometimes unavoidable. Try using baking soda or an alternative that is not as harsh as bleach to get rid of stains on your kitenge fabric.
Brush kitenge wrapped items:
You can use a brush to clean the handbag, laptop bag or shoe instead of complete washing.
Never squeeze or tumble dry:
After washing, hang the garments or lay them down to dry. Wringing or twisting them to dry will only compromise the rich colours of the fabric and cause them to fade quickly. Tumble dry is a no no.
Iron on moderate heat:
Our Kitenge fabrics are made of cotton, so the setting for cotton on your iron is appropriate. Be on the lookout for attachments made of linen and other more delicate fabrics which may require a lower setting. Iron from the inside of the garment.
Mind the dry cleaning:
Before handing over your fabric to a professional for dry cleaning, make sure the establishment has experiences with African print fabrics.
Please note that these fabrics can sometimes be stiff when you first get them, but they will soften with wear and washings and that’s why extra care is needed.
Whichever method you choose, note that if you treat the legendary kitenge anyhow, it loses its shine and you lose your fabric. So, hand washing or dry cleaning, we hope these tips will help keep your Kitenge garment vibrant.
Water is precious. Wash your garments only when necessary. Cutting down on the number of washes will greatly improve the life of your handloom and handwoven clothes.
TIP: Consider drying your handloom garment in ventilated shade or air dry it to keep your clothes fresh for use up to couple of times before washing again.
SHRINKAGE: Handloom fabrics are prone to moderate shrinkage on the first wash. Expect up to 5-10% shrinkage with time depending upon how you care for the garment.
BLEEDING: Handloom and handwoven fabrics often bleed colour on the first few washes. Rub a wet cotton swab on the inside of seam or hem, and check if the fabric transfers dye into the cotton.(also test for bleaching, same way you test on the kitenge fabric mentioned before)
SORTING YOUR HANDLOOMS FOR WASH
If the garment shows tendencies to bleed, wash it separately the first few times. It is also advisable to sort your clothes colour wise and wash the same colours together. Never mix colours with whites. Turning
It is advisable to hand-wash your handloom garments for longevity. If hand washing your clothes is demanding, machine wash on gentle cycle is an alternative option.
Always use cold water to wash handlooms & handweaves.
Standard machine wash protocol: Close all the zippers, hooks & other fasteners before washing.
Never-ever put your handloom or handwoven clothes in a machine dryer.
SOAKING: Use mild detergent and cold water. Do not soak the clothes for too long. Wash the clothes immediately after soaking.
RINSING: Rub the dirty areas gently with hand. Never use a brush, scrub or a solid bar of soap directly on your handloom garments. Remove the detergent completely by rinsing a few times in cold water. Using diluted starch solution for the final rinse give a crisp finish.
DRYING: Hang to drip dry your handwoven garments in well ventilated evening settings or shade since direct sunlight causes colour fading.
IRONING: Iron your cottons when still damp. Spray water to dampen the fabric if completely dry. Woollens are relatively more crease resistant and you can use steam if necessary.
STORAGE: Store your clothes in cool and dry place with no direct sunlight. Use scented satchels to ensure your clothes don’t pick up cupboard odour. Store silks in cloth covers.