Just back from Seattle and saw some interesting “commemorative cloths” featuring political leaders on display at the Seattle Art Museum, including one of Obama (though not the one shown here). It’s an interesting tradition and one I’d love to see more of state-side. Here’s a link to a write-up of the history of this type of fabric along with several examples.
The first paragraph begins this way:
“Fancy print” textiles produced in Europe for the markets of colonial Africa emerged in the 1920s as a cheaper substitute for so-called “Dutch wax” resin-resist prints. Although they were of lower quality and the design was only on one face, they had one distinct advantage which soon opened up a new range of decorative possibilities and hence a novel social role. Unlike wax prints, the technology of fancy prints allowed for the reproduction of photographic imagery. Very quickly the technique was adopted to produce what have become known as commemorative cloths.
The textile shown in the image above (via True Up) is a more graphic take. — I know we’re well past the election at this point but sheesh, I think Obama needs some positive vibes at the moment! So yes, “hooray for the president”.
For more actual wax prints visit previous posts on Vlisco and Ananse Village.