At the end of the nineteenth century, the Dutch fabric manufacturer Vlisco put its factory-made batik on the African market for the first time. By 1960, deliveries of Real Dutch Wax had risen to 34 Million yards. In West and Central Africa, the Vlisco brand (the name is always carefully woven into the selvedge) has now come to represent the height of luxury. At important functions and ceremonies, the preferred mode of dress is always Dutch Wax. Vlisco has become a major African fashion icon, and African's regard Dutch Wax as part of their own cultural heritage. How did textiles that were designed in Helmond, the Netherlands, and manufactured using a technique born in Indonesia, grow into a symbol of African identity? This book is a detailed discussion of that very question.