April 25, 2010

African Wax Prints

A part of West and Central African Culture, African wax prints are created by two, deeply engraved rollers with a mirror image of the pattern on each. The rollers imprint the design with hot wax onto either side of the cotton fabric, so it has two right sides. The fabric is then immersed in a dye bath were they dye ( usually indigo) penetrates the areas not covered in wax, creating an intricate pattern. 
Companies such as VLISC, operating out of Holland add to the traditional African wax print by adding colours and patterns to the base designs.
A Dutch wax cover, is a wax print were one or more coloured patterns is added , they can be of varying designs and 'cover'  though not completely, the wax print.
A Dutch wax block print includes one or more colours that are fitted into the design , regarding the outlines of the original wax print and adding to the image. 
A Dutch super wax print is the high quality wax print and uses a densely woven cotton. Specific designs are used for this product range, it features 3 colours that are added, two of them feature a natural crackling affect, revealing the wax print underneath, and the third a solid colour. 

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