In the last month or so, I’ve become interested in fabric that’s called “ankara print,” “Dutch wax print,” “Hollandais wax,” “Java wax,” or “African wax print,” depending on whom you talk to.

There is a complicated and murky history to this fabric, but as I understand it, Dutch settlers in the East Indies really liked the local Indonesian batik prints. Dutch settlers used West Africa as a source for their forced labor pool, and some of the Indonesian prints made it back to Africa, where the style was popular but the prints ultimately came to reflect local aesthetics. The fabric came to be machine-made in Belgium, ultimately, adding another layer. There’s good background here and here.

Anyway, the prints are fantastic, and my love for large, loud prints knows no bounds. You can find anything on the Internet these days, so I pushed aside my doubts about the “appropriateness” of a white girl adopting this style and found some on Etsy. (Also check out Middlesex Textiles, AKN Fabrics, and Vilsco.)


These are destined to be skirts–I think full-length ones to show off the print, like so:

0f12af7d030c48f0cb1fea1e3f4663f7 2ed54282f4a581697472f237aa16150f(Images found via Pinterest.)

Because cultural appropriation is fun!