EVERY YARD IS UNIQUE
The secret of Vlisco’s longevity can be found in our wax-based printing process. The process makes every yard of printed cloth slightly different from the next. The differences are subtle but recognisable, and make every fabric a one-of-a-kind.
In 1852, Vlisco began producing industrial batik fabrics using a resist-dye printing method, a technique that originates from the 12th century. Today, we still use this craft to print our wax fabric designs. Our machines are custom-built, and to meet our high standards many parts of the complex process are still finished by hand.
THE WAX PRINTING PROCESS
Before printing, we carefully prepare long rolls of white cotton cloth. Next we apply the wax resin everywhere on the fabric except for where the line drawings go. The wax is used as a kind of sealant, to prevent dye from contacting the fabric. As the fabric is dipped into the base colour, the dye soaks through only the unwaxed areas of the fabric. This forms the basis of the design.
Next, the wax is broken and dyed with the first colour. This creates a series of fine vein-like cracks or round bubbles. These fine, random markings are the signature characteristic of a genuine wax product. After the leftover wax has been completely removed, another solid colour can be printed, this time without a crackled effect.
The resulting irregular markings on the fabric give it a crafted, hand-made feel. From start to finish, wax fabric requires over 30 steps that take 2 weeks. Producing genuine Dutch Wax is a long and complex process, but we’re sure you agree that it’s worth it.