Vlisco Fabrics 2012 – the book has been published in parallel to the exhibition Six Yards, Guaranteed Dutch Design in the MMKArnhem. This book was not intented as a regular exhibition catalog but rather a catalog about Vlisco’s core product: a fabrics samplebook.
Its main section covers 228 pages of high quality scans with a different Vlisco pattern per each page (full bleed, scale 1:1).
In the following section all pattern samples are listed by production number, chronologically along with any relevant data, such as origin, designer, year of design or release and product type. The samples are taken from the Vlisco archives or, as is the case of most of them, the current Vlisco line (November 2011).
Curated by Suze May Sho, the exhibition Six Yards is a tribute to Vlisco textiles: over a hundred years old, born in Indonesia, designed in the Netherlands, loved in Africa, and desired in the West. These colourful fabrics make their way to fashion shows in Paris, the markets in Ghana, and galleries in London and New York. The exhibition Six Yards focuses on all the relevant angles, from their presence and meaning in the work of artist Yinka Shonibare, to the stories in the oral tradition that have come from the fabrics.
With works by: Yinka Shonibare, Kara Walker, Ellen Gallagher, Wangechi Mutu, Fatimah Tuggar, Viviane Sassen, Lucy Orta, Hans Eijkelboom, Seydou Keïta, Andrea Spotorno, Meschac Gaba, Bodys Isek Kingelez, Collectie Arnhem, Harvey Bouterse, Acne, Marga Weimans, Dries van Noten, PetrouMan, Querijn Maurits Ver Huell en Vlisco designers.
As time passed, a number of the Vlisco patterns were given names by their West African traders and customers. Some of the names are associated with an event, an anecdote or a reference with which the pattern and the depicted motifs have become synonymous. These stories, insofar as they are known, have been collected for this publication of this book and are included here with the relevant patterns.
The book was made in close collaboration with Roger Gerards, director of the design department of Vlisco, who did an impossible job: gathering and selecting 228 patterns from a fabric production archive, containing 350.000 different patterns.
Editors: Roger Gerards and Suze May Sho
Author: Anja Aronovsky Cronberg
Design: Suze May Sho
Publisher: ArtEZ Press