When I first moved to The Netherlands and was busy researching Dutch textile design companies, I came across Vlisco.
They’re a really interesting company, based just east of Eindhoven, which produces reems of beautiful wax block print fabrics. The history of the company goes back to the mid-nineteenth century when the Dutch company began exporting hand printed batik wax designs. Influenced by their extensive colonial travels, the Dutch picked up the distinctive wax crackle effect they saw in Indonesia.
These days, they are the biggest producer of authentic ‘Wax Hollandais’ printed fabrics – although you see plenty of copies and cheaper versions. Their main market is Africa and African communities all around the world, inlcuding London. I remember seeing very similar gorgeous fabrics for sale in Peckham markets, when I was living in New Cross. Should have snapped them up then! Here are some pretty examples…
The Vlisco brand seems to have expanded into the high fashion realm, with couture outfits on the catwalk etc. But suprising to hear all the fabrics are still designed and manufactured at the factory and studio in The Netherlands. I must say, their brand and image is really strong with some very nice fashion photography images that really show off the fabrics!
After seeing this intriguing image (see below) on train stations all around Rotterdam lately, I realised it was actually a poster for an exhibition being held at the Museum for Modern Art in Arnhem and is dedicated to Vlisco! Called ‘Six Yards Guaranteed Dutch Design’ the exhibition focuses on the work, history and impact of the company and their gorgeous bold designs. Really looking forward to making a trip to Arnhem to go and see this…
My friend, and fellow creative textile person, Rachel Perkins has an exhibition of her work on at the moment at ‘Vintage Fair’ in Yeovil, Somerset, so go and check it out if you’re in the area. I’m a bit too far away unfortunately.
This got me thinking about embroidery and as I have a brand new account with Etsy, I thought I’d take a break from drawing and share some finds…I just discovered sometimesisswirl, which has some nice embroidery pieces.
I also love the jewellry from skrynka, a shop from the Ukraine specialising in embroidery and cross stitch.