Wax print textiles

Wax print textiles

mumutane's products are designed and produced in African wax print fabrics, which have a very special status in Africa and among Africans all over the world. In fact, this fabric is considered to be the most symbolic of all African fabrics, nor is it without reason that the fabric is so popular and has been so for almost 200 years.

The wax print fabric is very eye-catching with its vibrant colours and distinctive prints and symbols. The fabric is made of 100% cotton and is printed using wax, hence the name `wax print`. The waxing technique helps to evoke a very special visual expression, which is a combination of clear graphic areas, colours in many layers and a special marbled effect. This combination helps to give a special visual dimension and optical effect in the print. The wax technique makes both the print a little different from print to print, and the colours are very durable and remain beautiful and clear even after long-term use.

Wax print fabric is not only beautiful and fascinating to look at. At the same time, it is full of symbols and stories, which makes it something very special. Both the symbols and the colours reflect the African culture and are used to signal different statements, messages or moods. It can be anything from everyday events, the relationship between men and women, nature, music, rhythms and social status to special traditions and events. The symbolism can vary depending on geography or social status. Many of the popular textiles have been given names over time and are produced in different colour combinations.

Wax print has been used by Africans for clothing for almost 200 years. Although one would think that the iconic textile is originally African, it was the Dutch textile company Vlisco that during industrialisation and colonial expansion brought the wax print textile to the African Gold Coast in the late 19th century. Wax print is therefore often called Hollandais or Dutch Wax. The fabric was originally designed for the Indonesian market, and the term was therefore heavily inspired by Indonesian batik. Vlisco was not successful in the Indonesian market and therefore introduced the textile on the African Gold Coast. The fabric was new and exotic to Africans. It quickly became popular and a symbol of style and status. Over time, the population had a great influence on the design of patterns, colours and symbolisms, and thus the wax print textile came to reflect the African culture.

Vlisco exists today and now also has factories in Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire. Vlisco still collaborates with African women, whose attitudes and knowledge about colours, symbols, clothing and culture play a major role in the design phase of the textiles. Many talented African designers often integrate the wax print tradition into new interpretations in their designs, which also helps to carry on the strong tradition.

With this tale, the Africans have made the wax print fabric their very own and into something quite special.

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