Dutch Wax fabrics have a remarkable history. Born in Indonesia, designed in the Netherlands, loved in Africa.
Batik is an Indonesian (Javanese) method of dyeing cloth whereby wax is melted and then patterned across a blank cloth. From there, the cloth is soaked in dye, which is prevented from covering the entire cloth by the wax. If additional colors are required, the wax-and-soak process is repeated with new patterns.
The Vlisco company, located in Helmond, has supplied the Western and Central African market since 1846.
Today, Africa is home to the production of high quality wax prints. Manufacturers across Africa include ABC Wax, Woodin, Uniwax, Akosombo Textiles Limited (ATL), and GTP (Ghana Textiles Printing Company).
The fabrics are coveted in the West as they are finding their way to Parisian fashion shows, and galleries in London and New York. Renowned artists such as Beyoncé and Janet Jackson are increasingly wearing wax designs in their videos.