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Inspiration

Blue-and-Gold Wax Print Dress | 360-Degree View

Intricate wax prints are used cleverly in this bold design.

Threads #202, Apr./May 2019

Dutch wax prints, also known as ankara or African wax prints, are eye-catching and versatile fabrics. Authentic wax prints are woven from 100 percent cotton and dyed using a method derived from block printing. The process was developed in 1846, by a Dutch entrepreneur named Pieter Fentener van Vlissingen, who was looking to break into the lucrative Indonesian batik market. Since authentic batik can take up to a year to complete, his automated process created textiles far faster and at a lower price. However, the printing process created small flaws in the fabric that the Indonesian market found unappealing. The textile found a huge market in Africa through a trade route originating in Ghana. There, the inherent flaws were considered a sign of authenticity. Wax prints are deeply steeped in the culture of their African audience and are popular to this day.

This dress, created by fabric aficionado and blogger Marcy Harriell, is sewn in a vibrant wax print fabric from MoodFabrics.com. The radiating spokes in the circular motif are carefully placed at center front to create a flattering effect. The dress is based on McCall’s 5490, a vintage pattern originally designed for stretch knits. Marcy eliminated the collar and adjusted the sizing so that it would work for a woven fabric. By using different parts of the wax print motif, she was able to create contrast piecing at the neckline. Check out more of her work at OonaBalloona.com.

See a 360-degree view of this dress, and zoom in for a closer look at its intricate motifs.

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  1. User avater LuvThreadsMagazine February 21st

    Marcy is fearless, bold, authentic, and a sewing trail blazer!!

    She inspires poetry, dontchaknow?

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