Dutch Wax Prints Manufacturer

holland wax prints manufacturer

Dutch Wax Prints Manufacturer

African wax prints are an increasingly popular style of fabric that has taken the world by storm. They have a fascinating backstory, with many layers of history and culture woven into their design and colourways.

They were originally produced in Indonesia by the Dutch – who ruled what was then known as Dutch East India – as a cheap copy of a traditional batik textile. When the Dutch ships passed through Africa on their way to Europe they started adapting the designs and colours to suit the local market.


Dutch wax prints, also known as Ankara fabrics, have become a staple in fashion. They’re known for their vibrant colours and unique patterning, originating from Indonesian batik, which the Dutch colonised in the 1850s.

Initially, wax prints were a poor imitation of the original Indonesian batiks because of their irregularities, but they found an unexpected market in West Africa where consumers appreciated the irregularities as a design element. These imperfections created a natural cracking effect, making the fabric look more alive and appealing.

Wax prints quickly integrated into West African apparel and evolved with patterns and colours designed to speak to this new audience. Some prints were used to express a shared language or as a form of expression, while others reflected specific occasions or proverbs.

They are also a symbol of wealth and prestige, especially in West Africa. This is why they are often given to brides as a dowry. It’s customary for a man to provide his wife with six yards of the fabric, which she can then use in her wedding dress and other celebrations.

These fabrics are available in a wide range of styles, ranging from simple to sophisticated. The fabric is scoured, washed, bleached and mercerised before being printed.

Vlisco produces several types of Dutch wax-resist printed cottons, with different levels of quality and price. The most popular is Wax Hollandais, which features motifs carved in wax before being submerged in dye.

Another type of wax print is Super Wax, which features a softer, thinner cotton that’s woven with a higher thread count. This means the fabric is less dense and dries quicker than regular wax prints, resulting in a crisper finish.

This type of wax print can be embellished with gold or other metal-like colours by using the scratch gold method, giving the print an extra shine and sparkle. Some Superwax fabrics are also embellished with Swarovski crystals and other stones, adding an extra glamor to the fabric.

The brand Julius Holland is known for their high-quality fabrics, which are easy to wear and easy to care for, as well as being very good in terms of quality and price ratio. They’re perfect for the contemporary woman who wants to be fashionable, while retaining her own cultural traditions.


Dutch wax prints, sometimes called ankara prints or pagne or kitenge in Francophone Africa, are mechanically printed cotton fabrics that imitate the technique of Javanese batik. Their bright colours, contrasting patterns and unique printing method have made them a staple of African fashion.

In West Africa, these cottons are sold in lengths of 12 yards (11 m) as a “full piece” or 6 yards (5.5 m) as a “half piece”. They are typically used for dresses and other clothing that celebrate a special occasion or event such as weddings or birthdays.

While the fabric has long been a staple in West holland wax prints manufacturer Africa, its design has gained more attention in Europe recently. Artists such as Sue Williamson and Yinka Shonibare MBE RA have used the fabric in their work to highlight the impact of European colonisation on Africa.

The fabric first emerged in the Netherlands in the 19th century as a way to mass produce batiks from Java. It was not successful in Indonesia due to its irregularities, but grew popular in West Africa and evolved into an entirely new market.

As a result, European textile manufacturers began developing machine printing processes that imitated the batik technique, producing wax print fabrics in large quantities and selling them to African markets. By the end of the nineteenth century, well-known manufacturers such as Van Vlissingen & Co. and Ankersmit had become the main producers of this imitation batik.

Initially, the process involved dyeing the base pattern using a base colour and then applying a layer of wax in the desired design. A second dyeing process would then be carried out, with the residual wax removed from the motifs using a trichloroethylene solvent.

After this, a second colour could be fitted to the design by printing it on top of the wax motifs. This process was repeated several times until the design was complete.

This partial removal of the wax motifs produced a bubbling and cracking effect, mimicking the look of the original batik fabrics. This was a very natural and authentic looking effect, and the fabric is very much loved in Africa today.


Wax prints are a type of batik that originated in Africa. They are a popular textile for clothing and have become an integral part of African cultures. The fabrics are also used as a form of communication, as the patterns can be used to convey meaning going from everyday life to political expression.

To produce wax print textiles, cotton is patterned and soaked in dye before being coated with a wax-resist technique. The design is then re-printed with a new colour. This process is repeated until the desired pattern is achieved.

In the 19th century, Dutch merchants introduced wax-resist printing to West and Central Africa, using Javanese batik as their inspiration. These cotton fabrics are called African Wax prints or Ankara. They are manufactured in the Netherlands, Africa and Asia and can be a very expensive fabric.

Some of the fabrics are made from a special wax that is softer and thinner than regular wax, and have an extra colour. This is branded Super Wax, and is more expensive and symbolic of prestige.

The designs are usually printed on both sides of the cotton cloth, and this is one of their most attractive features. It is very difficult to achieve this effect with other types of printing, which makes African wax print fabrics a highly desirable product.

They are also a very versatile product, and can be worn for different occasions. Some designs are named after cities or buildings, sayings and other symbols that convey meaning to the wearer.

Other designs are based on famous people or events, for example, the Nkrumah Pencil print was named after Ghana’s first president Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. This particular print symbolises the power Nkrumah had over other political leaders and is a highly regarded and collectible piece of artwork.

Another well-known pattern is the Michelle Obama’s Handbag, which was released in 2011 and has a striking resemblance to the one the first lady carried as she descended the steps of Air Force One. This particular print is also a highly collectible item and is often bought by celebrities for personal use or to give as gifts.


Wax prints are a type of printed cotton fabric. They are popular in West and Central Africa.

These fabrics are sold in lengths of 12 yards (11 m) as “full piece” or 6 yards (5.5 m) as “half piece”. They are usually in contrasting colours and comply with local preferences of customers.

They are mainly used for festive clothing. They are worn holland wax prints manufacturer for special occasions such as weddings, funerals, birthdays and ceremonies.

Although they are popular in many parts of the world, they are particularly associated with Africa because of their bright and colourful patterns which usually resonate with African art themes and motifs.

The Dutch brought batik to the Netherlands in the early 19th century, based on a Javanese process of dyeing cloth using wax. They later mechanized the whole process to make it faster and more efficient.

But Indonesians did not take to this method – they resisted it because of imperfections in the technique, such as a flaw called “crackle” that caused small veins of pigment to leak through the wax resist and create a crackle effect.

After relocating his factory to Haarlem in Holland, Jean Baptiste Theodore Previnaire developed a printing machine that mimicked the original batik process. He applied a thin layer of resin to the bleached cotton cloth and allowed it to dry. As it dried, the resin cracked, leaving thin veins and bubbles on the fabric.

Eventually, several other manufacturers in the Netherlands began producing this type of print. Some, including van Vlissingen’s, used the roller printing technology invented in Scotland in the 1780s.

Other factories, such as the one in Amsterdam owned by Jacques Van der Velde, started to apply a resin over the wax-resist design to create a more durable print. Those factories became the major producers of this kind of cloth.

However, Chinese manufacturers have now caught up with the Europeans – they now dominate the African wax print market and are able to sell their fabric at dirt cheap prices, which threatens the profitability of the real European companies. A typical Chinese made African wax print may cost up to ten times less than its European counterpart, which makes it difficult for the true Europeans to compete with their Asian competitors.