Recently, Vlisco unveiled their new ‘Bloom’ collection to the world. This collection is full of stunning pieces made of vibrant Vlisco fabric that screams SPRING IS HERE! The light colours and floral prints on the fabric make you want to “blossom into the genuine you.” That last quote was taken from their ad below:
This blog post is for the history nerd and fashionista. Enjoy!
Did you know that the iconic patterns that define “African” print have their origins in Indonesia?
Vlisco, a dutch retailer of fabric, was formed in 1846 by the Dutch entrepreneur Pieter Fentener van Vlissingen. During the 19th century, Indonesian batik cloth was very popular and was exported to Holland. Shipments of batik cloth on its way to Europe would stop by in West Africa. However, because of the high demand in West Africa, Vlisco started importing batik cloth to Africa in 1893.
Although batik cloth is the predecessor of what is today known as African print fabric, Vlisco has adapted the cloth to appeal to the local African taste. Vlisco’s fabrics became deeper, using bolder colours and prints, which essentially made them more “African” in style.
In West African countries like Ghana, Nigeria and Ivory Coast, Vlisco has almost become synonymous with high-quality African print fabric. Although a Dutch brand, 90% of Vlisco’s sales come from Africa, with offices located in Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, DRC, Ghana, Nigeria and Togo. In 2010, Vlisco was bought out by a London-based private equity firm, Actis Capital.
Follow Kuwala's board Kuwala HEARTS Vlisco on Pinterest.
As a high-quality fabric producer, Vlisco has partnered with many contemporary African fashion designers, like David Tlale, who have created stunning pieces with their materials. Their bold and elaborate ad campaigns have definitely caught the attention of many fashion icons. In over 165 years of existence, Vlisco has become the biggest textile manufacturer in the Netherlands. Vlisco Group, which consists of the 4 fabric producing brands Vlisco, GTP, Uniwax and Woodin, has become the epitome of style and quality in West Africa.
Most of the designers that Kuwala works with use African print fabrics from the Vlisco Group. Browse through Kuwala’s collections for rich, bold and colourful prints.
- Vlisco, the African fashion titan from Holland
- WIPO Case Study: Vlisco