West African textiles have always existed, but it was Dutch settlers in the 19th century who helped contribute to create the designs we would recognise today.
Traditionally, the wax was applied to fabric in places that the manufacturer didn’t want the dye to penetrate, then dye is applied over the top to create beautiful colouful intricates designs.
This method was originally used in Indonesia in Batik printmaking. Since then, Dutch colonialist made slight adjustments to the process to speed it up, creating Dutch wax prints.
Traditional African designs eventually influenced these fabrics to become more and more colourful over the years and to become the one we know.Indeed, African wax fabric shares just as much of its history to the Dutch as it does native Africans.