The creation of spectacular material using wax is not a new innovation. The method originated in Holland in the 1800’s when a merchant, traveling to Java, saw the people wearing exotic clothing and brought a description of the wax process home. This Holland Wax Fabrics was then introduced to Africa in the 1900’s, was instantly accepted, and has become the most widely used textile.
Working on the theme of African culture and beliefs, the Dutch wax fabrics designed bold and enthralling patterns with predominating bright browns, yellows, and reds. This patterned fabric, now known as the African Wax Print, has received worldwide attention. As the
African Dress style of the nation, it is highly sought after by those in the upper class and are proudly worn as an indication of their sophistication and knowledge of the latest trends in African dress fashion and African fashion design.
To produce this material a wax-resistant dyeing technique is used. A design is drawn onto the material with hot wax after which it is dipped in the dye. The dye does not penetrate the wax. While, originally this was a long process that was done by hand, there are now machines which perform this operation. An additional benefit to the material prepared this way is that the pattern is printed on both sides of the material making it more versatile.
This fabric is breathtaking to behold. Its outstanding beauty cannot be matched and has caught world-wide attention. Fashion shows, which display these amazing creations, are always filled to capacity and have a huge number of sales. The outstanding designs are now being adapted to home and office decorating schemes as well where bright, striking colors are desired.
It requires a great deal of experience and technique to design this material. The designers involved are top of the line and continue to produce outstanding patterns, which appeal to their varied clientele. Many times, they travel to the various areas of Africa to learn about their myths and legends in order to incorporate them into the design elements of the material. The result is that many people can recognize the material as originating from their location.
African women love to wear garments that represent their country and it has become so popular it is now considered the national dress. Whether one is walking along the street or attending a special engagement, the wearer soon becomes the center of attention. Wearing a gown made of these choice fabrics is considered the height of African fashion.
The timeless beauty and quality of the fabric is apparent to anyone with or without knowledge of textiles. The small details bring out the splendor of the larger pattern, which is only enhanced by the brilliant colors. Having a garment made of this fabric is every woman’s dream who wishes to be known as well-attuned to the latest fashion trends on the market.
In Africa Holland Wax Fabrics are in control of the textile market. Having established themselves, over 100 years ago, by accurately interpreting the customs and desires of the people their product is considered a cut above any other textile on the market. This process has captured the desires, wants, and memories of the entire culture and has endeared itself to the African People.