Through colonisation, Dutch and British companies were able to industrialise early and mechanise the process of hand made batik cloths made in Java, now Indonesia. The new manufactured fabrics were rejected by Indonesians but found a place within Central and West African markets, especially when the patterns were redesigned to reflect the culture of the buyers. The fabric has therefore long been associated with African identity. Naming patterns is a common practice within African societies and with African printed cloth it is the salespeople and buyers who usually name them.
Curated by Lucille Junkere.