Vlisco Fabrics by Suze May Sho Eds.

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More than 200 examples of fabrics from the Vlisco Archives

Wax fabrics are very popular in Lamu. The wax fabrics you can buy in Lamu is not always genuine wax on high quality cotton. Most of it is polyesther and with the motives printed on. The fabrics are from India, mostly. Vlisco is a Dutch Company and is sold mostly in West Africa. The Nigerian-British artist Yinka Shonibare used Vlisco tissue in most of his sculptures as a trademark starting in the nineties.

Today in Lamu the book could inspire the young girls in the Lamu school for local arts. The girls mostly learn to sew. The more Swahili tradition lies in the designing of ‘leso’s’. (to learn more about these see the portfolio Kanga Kiswahili) These contain not only images but also words. In the Vlisco-West African tradition the stories are told by images.

Another book on the same subject is Vlisco by Jos Arts (ISBN 9789089102751) 2012, €14,95. This book is sold out. This one contains the examples with artists working with the fabric like Yinka Shonibare. Of course a lot of designs are artworks in their own right. We would like to receive a second hand copy


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