THE WONDERS OF WAX
A global story celebrated in Africa
Wax prints are omnipresent and common textiles for clothing in West and Central Africa. Wax print was first introduced by Dutch merchants during the 19th century, who took inspiration from native Indonesian techniques and Akwete cloth design and began to adapt their designs and colours to suit the tastes of the African market. Like the Kente cloth, Ankara is the emblematic fabric of Africa.
HOW THEY ARE MADE:
Mostly printed in Ghana the complex, multicoloured designs are etched onto two copper rollers which are mounted onto a wax printing machine. The molten wax resin is picked up by the etched roller and impressed onto both sides of the cloth.
The dye penetrates the cloth in the areas that are not protected by the wax resin. The fabric is then washed to remove most of the wax from the cloth but small random spots of wax remain. This often leaves a marbled, cracked, or bubbly pattern.
Wax print is sold in folded lengths of approximately 6 meters in markets and stores around the continent.
SAY IT LOUDLY AND PROUDLY!
There is such a wide variety of wax prints and they are constantly evolving. Many have words or pictures that convey messages for the wearer to project to the world. Images can be as diverse as farm animals – chickens being a big favourite – to abstract designs. Wax print is used to make all types of clothing and even hats and shoes.
AAFRICAA WONDER WAX COLLECTION
Our Wonder Wax range of African Wax prints or Ankara clothing is made in collaboration with Coal Studio in Cape Town. Our designs are hand-picked from local West Africa textile traders and each garment is tailor-made to the various patterns.
Made with 100% printed cotton the endless variation and colours offer elegant and joyful statement pieces for both day and night.