Picture the pattern

For the blog and the Facebook page of The Fabric of Home – my brandnew label in Home & Living accessories – I am researching the history of African fabrics. And I came across this long list of curious names of patterns on fabric. These concern designs by Vlisco, the original brand name in Dutch wax cloth, better known as African wax cloth.

It had my mind racing! 😉

As intriguing as the themes may read, the actual designs are mind blowing!

One of the many interesting stories is about the curious image of a hand holding and using a spray can. Apparently the designer meant to show a spray that dissolves the background. But users of the cloth have interpreted the pattern as symbolizing the famous and bestselling perfume ‘With love from Alassane’ of the former businessman and now president of Ivory Coast, Alassane Quattara. A popular name for the pattern is ‘Lover’s Spray’.

And in Ghana the pattern is also known as ‘Fly-Tox’ or ‘Baïgon’, a brand of insecticide.

African fabric

detail of Fly tox pattern

You are invited to share a story on a pattern on https://stories.vlisco.com

About Wilson Tichelaar

relentless hunter gatherer of soothing beauty, great and small
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