Vlisco: Africa’s signature and a Dutch creation

It is impossible to imagine Africa without its bright and colourful prints. It’s part of our culture since…Lord knows, since when. Yet, African wax is a Dutch creation. Yup, African wax was introduced to Africa by Vlisco in the 18th century and it is a succes ever since.

The true Original

Vlisco, popurlarly known as wax Hollandais, is a Dutch company, situated in Helmond, founded in 1846 by Vlissingen & Co. Around 1852, Vlisco started exporting handprinted batik to Dutch East Indies, now known as Indonesia. ‘Eastern Batik’ became increasingly popular. The demand for ‘Eastern batik’ grew after the return of African soldiers from Indonesia. These soldiers primarily settled in Ghana. The Batik they brought back to Africa was admired by the African inhabitants. Wax Hollandais has formed an essential part of our west African and Central African culture since.

Vlisco now

There are similar wax prints on the market of course, that’s why Vliso has found a way to distinguish itself from the other wax prints, by being the first one to release a very own clothing line. Vlisco releases a new campaign every quarter of the year with a line which distinguishes itself from others. You might say: Come with the style and I’ll have it copied by a Taylor. But Vlisco does have distinguished designs, which are yet to be a success.

Vlisco has opened stores, mainly in West-Africa. I believe that the line is yet to be a success in Europe, since African wax is shown more on the Runway and more Africans inEurope are less wearing African wax traditionally and more into European styles.

Curious? visit: Vlisco




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