Have you always wondered how all the beautiful Vlisco fabrics are made? Well I have been curious for a very long time (since my mom also works for the company). And luckily I was invited to visit the factory yesterday. It was beyond inspiring and amazing at the same time.
Ring a bell
Let’s start with a little background information: The Vlisco group consists of four fashion textile brands, specialized in establishing African prints: Vlisco, Woodin, Uniwax and GTP. Vlisco is the premium brand. My mother has been working for Woodin for a while now. Woodin is the fast-fashion, textile and Ready to Wear brand. Vlisco’s heritage is like no other. Since 1846 (!) they have been creating unique fabrics in Holland that have influenced the African fashion landscape, using their well-known Wax Hollandais.
WEARING CLOTHES IS MUCH MORE THAN JUST ABOUT COVERING YOUR BODY. IT IS A FORM OF INDIVIDUAL AND CULTURAL COMMUNICATION AND VLISCO COMMUNICATES LIKE NO OTHER BRAND. – VLISCO
Okay, back to the story: After a 30 minute drive from Spintex to Tema, Charles’s mother and I arrived at the factory. We were kindly welcomed by Delali, the woman my mother introduced me to earlier via e-mail. Delali is the Ready to Wear sourcing manager of Woodin. After having a nice conversation and a short meeting, the tour in the factory was ready to begin.
What amazes me right away is the fact that we could see the process from scratch. Starting from raw cotton to a high quality fabric or even a shirt, bag or blouse. Our tour guide explained to us that GTP has a few different types: Adepa one and two, Safoa and NuStyle. The difference between these types is basically the quality of the fabric. For example: Adepa is mainly used for the traditional Vlisco clothes, which is waxed and printed on the front and backside of the fabric. It’s about high quality without the high maintenance. NuStyle is the newest of all, and is not always waxed, but printed and dyed in a different way.
Bleaching, drying, dyeing and printing
Every process, from bleaching to printing, is done in the factory. I wasn’t allowed to take pictures in every area, but almost every process has been captured! Well, except the waxing. My mother told me that double waxing can only be done in the factory in the Netherlands. ‘But maybe we can also visit the factory when you’re back in Holland’ – Ahhhh yes mother!
I want to thank Delali and our tour guide for this amazing experience, my mother for her effort to get me in touch with Vlisco, Vlisco and Woodin itself and ofcourse Jackie for joining me!