African Print History (Part 2) Fabrics that connect Japan and Africa

Hello. I'm Hiromi Masaki, a member of RICCI EVERYDAY The HIll (directly managed store).

Continuing from the first part, this time I will tell you about the history of African print.
An African print created by batik across the sea under the influence of the Netherlands in the 19th century. Do you know how African prints have since become a global presence? In fact, Japan was also heavily involved in the background of the spread of African prints around the world.
This time, let's take a look at the history that has spread all over the world while looking at the relationship between Japan and African prints.

  1. Globalization of African prints and diversification of production
  2. African print born in Japan

1. Globalization of African prints and diversification of production
The African prints brought to West Africa were initially dominated by production by European companies. Even before the arrival of African wax prints by Europe, Africa's unique textile and dyeing industry certainly existed, but it was perceived as expensive because it was produced on a small scale. With the arrival of African prints by European companies that can be mass-produced at a lower cost, it will spread widely beyond West Africa to the whole of Africa.

After the end of World War II, many Asian countries became independent and industrialized, and Asian companies began to enter the African print market. Also, in the 1960s, the independence of African countries continued, and in order to create a post-independence economy, African print production by Africans began in Africa. In this way, regions other than Europe have changed into an era in which the production of African prints is greatly involved.

Against this background, production methods other than traditional wax printing have come to be created. Since wax printing took a long time to resist dyeing with wax, a method called imitation wax printing was developed that can eliminate this work and produce more efficiently. further,Part 1The fancy fabric production method introduced in the above was also developed for the purpose of mass production of fabrics at the same time.
Fancy fabric is also a production method that has permeated African clothing as it gradually became westernized, and the clothing gradually changed from clothing that wraps cloth around the body to clothing that sew sleeves and hem. Developed in the process of As a result, free designs such as dresses, which are not found in wax prints, have been developed. Fancy prints were in demand throughout Africa, but imports and exports were particularly active in West Africa.

2. African print born in Japan
African prints are now being produced not only in Europe but all over the world. Did you know that African prints were actually produced in Japan as well? Production of African prints from Japan began in earnest in the 1950s and continued until the early 1980s. At that time, the textile industry was monopolized by France, the former colonial power of West Africa, so most of the exports made in Japan were centered on East Africa. In particular, the three countries of Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika (currently Tanzania) were able to export from Japan smoothly, with more than two-thirds of their exports being made up of textiles.

Most of the domestic producers of African prints were Kansai companies. Among them, Daido Dyeing Co., Ltd. in Kyoto boasted the highest print processing quantity and export ratio in Japan until the 1970s, and at the time of the most momentum, it exported nearly 40% to Africa. Japanese companies were mainly good at wax print production, but Japan, which is far from other countries, has also developed a new product called "Green Wax" to compete with local production in Africa. It was. Green wax is a product developed by Daido Dyeing Co., Ltd. and is classified as a fancy fabric. Characterized by its vibrant and unique shade of green, it was rated as one of the finest prints in Africa. However, in the late 1970s, green wax dyes were banned from the standpoint of pollution. Furthermore, due to the rapid increase in local production in Africa and the soaring prices due to the strong yen, the Japanese dyeing and textile industry was completely withdrawn from the African print market in the 1980s.

How was it? I thought Africa was a distant region, but in fact, I was connected to Japan through African prints!
Next time, I will tell you about the current state of African print as the second part, so please look forward to it!


Pan Fabric Official Website-History of African Fabrics-
・ "Cloth that claims Kanga" by Chieko Orimoto
African miscellaneous goods Azalai official website-African Print-
・ African Print-A cloth story born in Kyoto-by Seishi Namiki, Fumi Ueda, Mihoko Aoki
POLEPOLE KANGA SHOP official website

The staff will welcome you after conducting temperature measurement and wearing a mask.
When you come to the store, please cooperate in disinfecting with alcohol gel near the door.

Currently, we are offering online customer service via LINE video calls so that customers who live far away can enjoy shopping at our directly managed stores.
In addition, please make a reservation in advance when you come directly to the store.

You can make advance reservations for your visit and reservations for online customer service from the links below.

Advance reservations for visits and online customer serviceFrom here

4 minutes walk from the central ticket gate of Daikanyama Station on the Tokyu Toyoko Line
ROOB2, 24-1 Sarugaku-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo03-6455-2446

Look at the product