When we told you that all our collections and products are inspired by Africa and sourced majorly from remote areas in africa, we weren’t joking.
We are often asked how we create our modern African print clothing are made, so we thought it would be helpful to share the process in detail with you.
The African print fabric we use is sourced in Tanzania from a family-run small business and is made in Nigeria using locally grown cotton. The whole process is highly respected as a craft and a labour-intensive art form.
In this blog we’re going to take a look at the complex and time-consuming production process involved in creating these incredible textiles.
BASIC STEPS IN AFRICAN WAX PRINT FABRIC PRODUCTION
Raw cotton yarns are spun and woven into grey cloth that is stiff and dirty. The cloth is then bleached white to clean and remove any impurities before being strengthened and stretched to its desired width.
The prints are designed on a computer using CAD software in black and white form. Traditionally two or three colours are added to the cloth at the end of the production process. Each print design is usually produced in several different colourways.
The design is engraved onto a pair of copper rollers before being printed onto both sides of the cloth using melted, molten wax. The wax used is a natural product that comes from pine tree resin.
The cloth is then put into an indigo dye bath where the exposed parts of the cloth are dyed and the resin covered parts are resisted. This process can also cause naturally formed fine cracks in the wax, which can allow small amounts of the dye to seep through onto the cloth.
The wax is then deliberately cracked using specific machinery depending on the desired outcome such as marbling and bubbles.