The African print has been raved about so recently and most of you can brag about owning one or two dresses made from these print, but what exactly do we know about them other than the fact that these uniquely coloured fabrics are showing up increasingly all over the world and inspiring designers?
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE AFRICAN PRINT
I will tell you facts I bet you didn’t even know about our beloved prints.
1. African print are industrially produced colourful cotton cloths with batik-inspired printing.
According to Wikipedia, Batik is a technique of wax-resist dyeing applied to a whole cloth, or cloth made using this technique originated from Indonesia.
Batik is made either by drawing dots and lines of the resist with a spouted tool called a canting or by printing the resist with a copper stamp called a cap.
You will also find African prints made through tie and dye and these would tend to be more unique.
2. African Prints are also called Ankara and Dutch wax prints, so don’t get confused when you hear those names.
3. The African Print actually originated from Indonesia when it was a colony of the Dutch East Indies; No wonder it’s called Dutch wax print.
4. As we may all know the fabrics are sold in 12 yards as "full piece" or 6 yards as "half piece"
5. The African print designs already has an influence on the international world of fashion, they are an inspirational source for designers and even companies.
Spanish designer Juanjo Oliva is credited with bringing African wax prints to large brands such as Zara. The African print has easily integrated into the international fashion industry.
6. African Prints business is quite lucrative; in Sub-Sahara Africa the sale of African print brings about a whooping annual sales volume of 2.1 billion yards, with an average production cost of $2.6 billion and retail value of $4 billion. Yes, you read right, Billion. Shall we remember the Popular Vilisco brand that made a turnover of 300 million euros in 2004.
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7. As a way to put their mark on prints, African print distributors give the fabrics names. Europeans sometimes just assign numbers to the patterns. These also give it a unique flare.
8. They can be subject to copyright infringement, In 2009, Vlisco sued a Japanese designer Junya Watanabe several times when he used their patterns without permission on his runway show. When did it ever become that deep. You wouldn’t want a huge law suit against you right? So please don’t steal a print design.
The African Print never ceases to amaze us. We love these brilliantly coloured fabrics that have so much history. If you can think of any other mind blowing facts please comment below.
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