African Wax Print Fabric
When I was in college I only got to take 2 electives in order to graduate on time. One of the ones I took was African Dance. It was probably the most amazing thing I’ve ever done. You have so much fun, learn to let yourself be free, learn how to dance and shake and groove and generally have an all-around good time. Our teacher was from Ghana, and so he made sure that we all wore traditional wraps made with wax-print fabric from Ghana to dance in. He also used to dance around us whipping people with his towel who he complained of having “a sad ass” when what you needed was a “happy ass” which he then proceeded to demonstrate. Awesome, but neither here nor there.
I really became enamored with the look of the wax print fabric out of Ghana. The technique originated in Indonesia but was brought to the gold coast many years ago and spread out from there. Africans have taken this technique and really made it their own, infusing the textiles with colors and stories that are important to them. What’s really interesting is that a lot of the designs that you see on these textiles are actually of Dutch origin (see an interesting article here). No matter where they come from, I think they’re fantastic.
Though the fabric is beautiful by itself, there is some clothing being made from it that’s really interesting and innovative. One such company is Wafrica, that creates Kimonos from this fabric.
I don’t know when I would have the occasion to wear one of these, but I love the concept.
The Dutch company that is apparently responsible for the vast majority of these designs is called Vlisco – I think that their ad campaigns are simply awesome.