In 1846, Dutch entrepreneur Pieter Fentener van Vlissingen introduced the production of Indonesian batik cloth on a mass scale. The Batik print fabric was a very popular trading good for ships stopping in West Africa and, after initially launching his product in Holland, Vlissingen started selling in Africa in response to high demand. Since then, the popularity of its printed fabrics has spread to such an extent that Vlisco is now an authentic part of the cultural fabric of West African countries like Nigeria, Ghana and Ivory Coast.
In celebration of 146-year love affair between Africa and Dutch textile manufacturers Vlisco photographer Koen Hauser teamed up with art director Maarten Spruyt as a homage to 20th century African studio portraits, featuring the luxurious wax batik prints by the famous textile house. Now known as “African prints” it is easy to forget that these fabrics are actually Dutch by way of Indonesia – a true example of the global world we live it.