Vlisco specializes in Dutch wax prints, the brightly colored and elaborately patterned cotton textiles popular in West and Central Africa. Made using an industrialized version of the hand-printed, Indonesian batik process, Vlisco’s wax fabrics were initially intended for the Indonesian market but soon found favor in Africa. The vibrant and colorful prints have been adapted to local preferences through a continued collaboration between Dutch designers and African traders: The local women traders who sell the fabrics often suggest colorways or themes, and many even name the designs, making them resonate within the local culture. Traditionally sold in open-air markets by these local traders, the wax fabrics are fashioned into bespoke dresses and suits by local tailors. Contrasting or complementary designs are intended to be mix-andmatched in the creation of personalized garments. For many, Vlisco fabrics remain a symbol of West and Central African fashion and culture.

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