Waxblock, also known as Wax Hollandais, or Dutch wax. It is the most famous and well known fabric for the West-African clothing market. At the end of the 19th century African fabrics start to be more and more popular in West- and Central Africa. It all started with the waxblock fabrics that still the most used fabric today. The classic designs from Vlisco for waxblock are still worn by both old and young women. It became part of the cultural heritage. In fact the Waxblock designs are produced in Holland but got their names and meaning in Africa.
Waxblock is made with highly unique printing technique which makes the fabric different from other cotton printing techniques. A waxblock or wax hollandais is made to survive the different weather conditions in Africa. The colours are unique and will never disappear when you was a Waxblock fabrics.
It is made from 100% cotton, and comes in different sizes. Mainly in 6 yards. Others sizes are 12 yards and 4 yards. Sometimes in 2 yards. 6 yards is about 5,5 meter in length. The width of the fabric is 120 cm.
How it is made
The Waxblock firstly treated with industrial based resin, the wax. When this is done the cotton is hard and stiff and you already can see the design what is going to be on the waxblock. Secondly the fabric will have font colouring which is mainly indigo blue. Other colours are brown and india blue, which is lighter than indigo. The next thing in process, in terms of technique is breaking the cotton with the wax and font colour.
When the Waxblock is ready to get its first blocking (that is why it got the product name Waxblock) the wax is partly taken of the cotton fabric. Than the first colour blocking is printed between the design itself. The remained wax that was left after the breaking process is now taking off the cotton. The cotton shows you now empty white dots or spaces that gives the Waxblock that particular feeling what people know from a Waxblock. To finish the Waxblock process a second colour blocking is done, and there it is a Waxblock fabric ready to be cut into the right sizes to use it.
This is short description of how a Waxblock is made, at the end the Waxblock is following 25 steps before it is complete and ready to be used for clothing.
Each Waxblock design has its own cultural feeling and meaning if we talk about the classic designs. Some designs are more than 100 years old and still produced today. Some designs are particularly for certain country some are used in more than one country at the same time. Each country have their own name and meaning.
Nowadays modern designs become really popular as well. Especially by the young women, which prefer new things. Those modern designs are being adopted really fast by the African people and get a name and meaning. Within that short period of time a design can become an authentic Waxblock.
Jansen Holland House of premium fabrics has two main brands in the assortment. Julius Holland and Vlisco. Jansen Holland is well known since they started for the classic designs of Vlisco. Julius Holland is their own brand in production and distribution. The Julius Holland Waxblock fabrics are vibrant, three dimensional, with respect to the West and Mid African culture and ready to wear.
Every 2 months Jansen Holland has new Julius Holland Waxblock collection in many designs colours and variations. Jansen Holland has the biggest assortment of Vlisco Waxblock fabrics in the world and widest range of classic designs to serve everyone needs.