Top 10 Trending African Ankara Wax Fabric Designs


African Ankara Wax Fabrics are renowned for their vibrant colors, bold patterns, and cultural significance. As fashion trends evolve, new designs continually emerge, captivating enthusiasts and designers alike. In this blog post, we explore the top 10 trending Ankara wax fabric designs that are making waves in the fashion world, offering a glimpse into the latest styles that blend tradition with contemporary flair.

Nsu Bra

In Ghana, this design is called Nsu Bra, named after the Akan word for 'water well.' The interlocking circles or ovals symbolize water ripples, representing the ripple effect of one’s actions on others. Introduced in the 1960s, it has various names including 'Plaque-Plaque,' 'Target,' and 'Consulaire.'

In Nigeria, this design is called 'Record' due to the circular pattern resembling old vinyl records. The fabric is also known as 'Gbédjégan' in Togo, likening it to a traditional straw king’s hat.


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Sika Wo Ntaban

This design features a bird, an important symbol in many cultures, representing change, prosperity, freedom, and transition.

In Ghana, this design is named Sika Wo Ntaban, translated as 'Money has wings.' It signifies the fleeting nature of wealth with the phrase 'rich today, poor tomorrow,' suggesting that money can easily disappear or fly away if not managed wisely. The pattern can also symbolize a request for a favor, such as proposing marriage.

In Togo, it's known as 'Air Afrique' because the design was used in the uniforms of the local airline.

In Nigeria’s Ebo region, the largest ethnic group, the Igbo, call the print 'Eneke,' referencing a proverb from Chinua Achebe’s famous novel 'Things Fall Apart,' where he writes, 'Eneke the bird says that since men have learned to shoot without missing, he has learned to fly without perching.' This implies that just as hunters must adapt to succeed, one must adapt to the changing nature of fortune.

Also known as 'Speedbird,' 'Hirondelles,' 'Sagbadrè,' 'Kuminetu,' and 'Sikatuse Anumaa.'

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In Ghana, this design is known as 'Aniwa.' This Akan word for 'Eye' symbolizes the need to be cautious with one's actions. It implies that even if people are silent, they are observing, especially when wrongdoing occurs. It can also signify that God watches over the world.

In Nigeria, this design is called 'Eyes,' inspired by the eye drawing. In Ivory Coast, it is known as 'L’Oeil de Boeuf' (Bull’s Eye) or 'Lisu ya Pité' (Lustful Eye). Women wear this pattern to indicate their desire for a man.

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Papa Ye Asa

This design, popular for generations, is known in Ghana as ‘Papa Ye Asa,’ meaning ‘goodness is finished.’ The Ghanaian name implies that no matter how much good you do for others, they may never be grateful.

In Ivory Coast, this design is known as 'Grotto,' an Ivorian term for a well-off person with social recognition. Wearing this fabric signifies high social status, achieved either through personal merit or a wealthy spouse.

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Fleurs de Mariage

'Fleurs de Mariage (Wedding Flowers),' also known as 'Rolls Royce' and 'Mgbolodi,' is a popular African fabric featuring floral patterns. It symbolizes marital happiness, beauty, and new beginnings. The design is believed to bring success and wealth to the wearer and their family, which might explain the 'Rolls Royce' moniker. Often used for wedding attire, this fabric reflects the joyous and festive nature of weddings in various African cultures.

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Akpirikpa Azu

In the Igbo language of eastern Nigeria, 'Akpirikpa Azu' means 'fish scale,' reflecting its resemblance to tilapia fish scales. In South Africa, it is called 'Bijenkorfje,' meaning 'beehive,' inspired by the pattern's structure.

Most commonly known as 'Scales,' this design is also known as 'Finger Nail,' and 'Abarro Basso.'

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The fabric design known as 'Conseille' or 'Macaroni' has different names in various regions. In Ivory Coast, it is called 'Conseille,' meaning 'Advice,' because Ivorian women used to counsel their daughters on romantic relationships when the fabric was introduced. In Benin and other parts of Africa, it is referred to as 'Macaroni' due to its resemblance to elbow macaroni shapes.

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The ‘Kwadusa’ design, translated as ‘banana hand,’ symbolizes a bunch of bananas. In Ghana, it represents independence and is known as ‘Independence’ or ‘Bunch of Bananas.’ In Togo, it's called ‘Abobo To Lé Gomè,’ referring to the snail out of its shell, and is associated with the Abobozan festival where snail dishes are enjoyed, and the fabric is favored. Additionally, it's referred to as ‘Helmet,’ ‘Shell,’ or ‘Coquillage,’ symbolizing festivity.

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Kilikili Star

This heritage design is known locally by the Igbo tribe in Nigeria as the ‘Kilikili Star,’ or ‘Small Star.’ Legend has it that the design originates from the story of the King of Moonland who demanded a mirror to shine like the sun. However, when the mirror only reflected the moon, the king, in a fit of rage, shattered it, causing hundreds of fragments to scatter into the sky like shining stars.

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The ‘Sucre’ design earned its name due to its resemblance to lumps of sugar and is often called ‘Sugar Cube.’ Beyond its visual appeal, Sucre holds symbolic significance, often used to express the sweetness and warmth of friendship and relationships. In some cultural contexts, Sucre fabric is offered as part of a dowry, symbolizing the enduring sweetness and prosperity of the marital bond. It serves as a heartfelt wish for the longevity and happiness of the bride and groom as they embark on their journey together. Long live the bride and groom indeed! 

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As the fashion landscape continues to evolve, these top 10 trending African Ankara wax fabric designs showcase the dynamic fusion of tradition and modernity, inspiring creativity and celebrating cultural heritage. Embrace the vibrancy and versatility of these captivating fabrics to make a statement that transcends borders and resonates with the global fashion community.