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A Quick Guide to Properly Sanitizing Your African Print Fabric Mask

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african print fabric

So, you have got your genuine African print fabric mask and you are excited to show it off to the world...but wait! There is just one teeny problem.

You are probably thinking, "How do I properly sanitize my cloth mask made out of this type of material without ruining it?"

The fear of accidentally ruining your mask made of precious African print fabric is understandable. Especially since some of the cloth mask sanitation tips out there conflict with proper African print fabric care.

It can be a confusing process, but luckily for you, we wrote a short guide on what to do and what not to do.

The Rise of African Print Fabrics in Fashion

The new normal we live in today includes the mandatory use of face masks, depending on which state or country you live in.

With the introduction of these new rules and regulations, we have found a way to turn these face masks into fashion trends and ways to express our individuality.

African print fabric has been trending in the fashion industry, so it is no surprise that there has been a demand for masks made of this precious material.

African prints and textiles have been on the rise because of their bold and rich use of bright colors and their meaningful and intricate patterns. These prints are not only design but also a way of connecting some of us to our cultural heritage and history.

Sanitizing Your African Print Fabric Mask

Like any reusable cloth face mask, you need to properly sanitize a mask made out of African print fabric. African prints and fabrics need special care compared to other cloth masks due to the delicacy of the dyes.

To preserve the vibrancy of the colors and ensure the longevity of the fabric while also making sure to kill viruses, here are some easy steps for you to follow.

  1. Hand Washing vs. Machine Washing

    When in doubt, always go for handwashing your African print fabric mask.

    If you are skeptical about the effectiveness of handwashing killing the virus, according to the CDC, detergents, laundry soap, and even hand soap are strong enough to combat flu viruses.

    When it comes to your AKN face mask, we suggest using mild detergent and cold or lukewarm water. If you are going to use your washing machine, use cold water. Set your machine to the gentlest setting and avoid the spin cycle.
  2. Can I Wash My Mask With Bleach?

    Bleach is great for sanitizing surfaces, but please do not use it when washing your face mask- no matter how diluted it is.

    Bleach or any other harsh chemical solution is dangerous when inhaled and could cause health problems.
  3. Drying Your Mask

    Drying your mask on a high heat setting is an effective way to sanitize your reusable face mask. Note that doing so may lead to color damage on African print fabric. An alternative to using your dryer would be to line or hand dry your African print mask away from direct sunlight. It may be tempting to wring out or twist your mask dry but this will also lead to color damage.
  4. Stains, Stains, Stains!

    Stains are almost unavoidable. If you do end up with a stain on your mask, fear not. The general rule for washing African print fabrics is to be gentle.

    Avoid bleach and instead, use a less harsh alternative, such as baking soda, to carefully remove the stain.
  5. Always Have a Backup

    Be sure to have at least two face masks so you can wash used masks at least once a day. You never want to be left without one or use a dirty mask. Change and sanitize your face mask as often as you would your underwear. DAILY.
  6. Can I Microwave My Face Mask?

    We strongly recommend against microwaving your AKN face mask or any cloth face mask in general. You may run the risk of burning or cooking your face mask, or worse... starting a fire.

History of African Print Fabrics

Now that you have your mask made out of African print fabric, it helps to know a little about the history of the fabric used. You are going to be receiving lots of compliments when people see your beautiful mask so knowing a few facts on African textiles will give you bonus culture points.

African prints and textiles are made out of 100% cotton and often come in colorful and bold African-influenced designs. In Africa, this fabric is used for many things, such as fashion, bedding, and even home decor.

The process of producing this fabric is called Batik, a traditional Indonesian technique for wax-resist dyeing applied to cloth or fabric.

The Dutch tried to replicate this handmade process by creating machines to produce similar fabrics, but the results turned out to be of lesser quality than that of the hand-made Batik.

Although the imitation Batik fabrics were not well received in Indonesia, they turned out to be popular in West Africa when it was imported in the 1880s. How did they get to Africa from Indonesia?

They say that African soldiers serving for the Dutch brought the fabrics back to West Africa. Legend has it that the men brought back trunks of fine Javanese batik covered in opulent patterns, impressing their friends and family.

This tale is still being debated over whether or not it is true, but it does make a fascinating story to share when someone asks about your AKN mask.

Over the years, Africans began to weave their rich culture into the designs. These designs were influenced by local art and traditional tribal patterns.

Color and symbols played a huge significance. Certain colors and symbols were used to represent social status, the wearer's tribe, and even if the wearer was married or single.

African Print Fabrics Today

Today, African print fabrics' popularity in fashion has been increasing rapidly. Now, during the time of the "new normal", these fabrics are being used to make trendy face masks.

They paint a story of Africa's rich culture and choosing one of our AKN face masks is a fashion-forward way to show your individuality or cultural pride.

We have a great selection of designs to choose from and we also have a great selection of African fabrics and textiles if you choose to DIY your own face mask.

We hope you found this quick guide to properly sanitizing your AKN face masks helpful and that it helps keep you safe!

Let us know if you have any questions about our AKN face masks or fabrics by leaving a comment below or visiting our contact page.

AKN Fabrics is recognized worldwide for selling the highest quality African fabrics and textiles at low prices. With new designs arriving daily, we always have a great selection of African fabrics and textiles to choose from.


 

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