Textiles Inspiration: African Wax Prints

Vlisco African fabrics


I have always been a massive fan of African art and textiles. The magnificent colours, strange shapes and peculiar combinations have always intrigued me. I later found out that lots of these patterns hold meanings and tell stories. The most famous textiles come from the West Coast of Africa (especially Ghana) and are usually waxed cottons that originated as batik designs from Indonesia, these designs were then adapted to relate more to the West African culture. These amazing patterns were noticed by a traveling Dutch business man in who fell in love with the vivid patterns whilst on business in Western Africa around the 1800’s and took them home to be re-produced in Holland. Unfortunately these patterns did not sell well in Europe and eventually the company re-sold the patterns back to the Africans. Famous company¬†Vlisco is the biggest African wax print fabric producer in the world and where I found all these images. Vlisco also produce fantastic ad campaigns that really show how these mad prints can be used.





  1. Paul,

    very cool prints! Love the vibrancy of the prints in the first image.

  2. Pingback: Inspiration: Stella Jean « Gallantandjones's Blog