Monday, July 22, 2013

Africa Print - Orange Babies - Vlisco - Made in Holland

Isn't it fascinating that the well known Africa print is Made in Holland by a Dutch textile company called Vlisco? The library of the Textile Museum in Enschede, the capital of the textile industry in the eastern part of the Netherlands, owns a publication (#4 from the top on the list) titled, Waar de Afrikaanse mammies hun kledingstof vandaan halen about  the history of the Africa print.

To me it's double interesting since my father's small Pre-WWII pharmaceutical company was named Vlisco as well, after his second wife's maiden name Van der Vlis. I wonder how it was possible that two companies had the same name. I have a letter in my possession sent to his Vlisco from a company in Germany that no longer could do business with him because ... well they don't mention that in the letter, but in retrospect it's clearly because his company had a Jewish owner. 

As a costume and stage designer I often bought fabrics at the Albert Cuyp Market from a man who told me the "traditional" African 6 yards were made in the Dutch province Twente, Vlisco.
Today —or, really last year the gala took place in 2012— the old textile mill is abuzz with young activity, Orange Babies is the trend, Africa print used for trendy fashion.

This work by Judith van Praag is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License
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