BATIK AND AFRICAN WAX PRINT IN GHANA
Batik and African wax prints are common fabrics found in Ghana and all over Africa.
Batik is a method of producing coloured designs on textiles by dyeing them, having first applied wax to the parts to be left undyed. It is an ancient handmade fabric art which originated from Java, Indonesia and was first used in the 13th century. But also in Africa, especially in Ghana, Batik has a long history and has been passed on from generation to generation with every part of the country creating its own unique styles.
During the batik process, hot batik wax is painted or stamped onto fabric, which is then dyed. After one or more dyeing, the batik wax is removed, revealing differently colored patterns and designs.
African wax prints, also known as Ankara and Dutch wax prints, are very known materials for cloth making in Africa, especially West Africa. They are industrially produced colourful cotton clothes with prints originally influenced by batik. One feature of these materials is the lack of difference in the colour intensity of the front and back sides (you must watch carefully to notice). The African wax fabric can be sorted into categories of quality due to the processes of manufacturing.
Most fabrics are sold in lengths of 12 yards (11 m) as “full piece” or 6 yards (5.5 m) as “half piece” but one can also get them in lengths less than these.
Wax prints are a type of nonverbal communication among Africans and thereby carry their messages out into the world. Some wax prints are named after personalities, sayings or occasions. The producer, name of the product, and registration number of the design is printed on the selvage, thus protecting the design and attesting to the quality of the fabric. Wax fabrics constitute capital goods for African women, and are therefore often retained based on their perceived market value.
Wearing of the African wax print is no more a thing for just ‘mothers and grandmothers’ especially at a time when ‘Wear Made in Ghana‘ has widely been advocated for in Ghana. Before, Ghanaians mostly wore it to church but in recent times, the African Print is being worn irrespective of the day or occasion.
Patrons use it as their wear for work, parties, fashion shows, weddings, church, used for slippers, bags, jewelries and the list goes on. It is also a perfect gift to give your loved ones on occasions.
Some African print brands in Ghana include GTP (Ghana Textiles Printing Company), ATL (Akosombo Textiles Limited), Woodin, Vlisco and Printex.
Batik and African wax prints can be purchased in any of the brands outlets located across Accra.
Don’t know what to gift a loved one on a festive occasion like this coming Christmas or during a celebration? Why don’t you go in for a lovely and colourful Batik, African Wax print or its accessories.