Home English wax cotton fabric

English wax cotton fabric

Object

Fabric

Production date

1995-2000

Object number

2001.18

Physical Description

This light cotton fabric is printed with a West African design and was bought from a textiles shop in Stoke Newington, East London. It was made using a wax-printing process, where wax is block printed onto the surface of the fabric before dyeing so some areas of the fabric 'resist' the dye, creating a pattern. Wax printed cloth is seen to be superior, and this cloth has had the words 'english wax' printed at the border as proof of quality. Dyed in green, blue and brown, this fabric has a stylised repeating pattern of cocoa pods and leaves.

Associated Organisation

ABC Wax (Manufacturer)

Associated Place

Inscription

ABC English wax

Material

cotton

Dimension

height (whole): 4000mm
width (whole): 2000mm
depth (whole): 1mm

Exhibition Label

Benny’s Textile Corner

Benjamin and Ner Banin moved to Hackney in 1962 and quickly realised there was a demand for West African textiles. They had textile retail experience so they set-up Benny’s Textile Corner at 1 Stoke Newington Road.

The majority of West African textiles they sold were produced in Manchester or imported from the Netherlands. Some classic designs over 100 years old were continually popular but new designs were also being produced.

In Hackney most Nigerian and Ghanaian customers wanted wax prints which were generally for everyday wear. There was also a small demand for Lurex, which was used to make dressy designs for weddings and other occasions. The fabrics on display illustrate the types of designs Benny’s Textile Corner sold in the late 1990s to early 2000s and the carrier bag they would be packed in.

Being African in Hackney: 1960s-2020s
14 September 2021 to 14 February 2022

On display?

No