Bubble Block Wax by Simone Post and Atto Tetteh for Vlisco

Simone Post combines hypnotic patterns with bubbles in wax-printed fabric

Dutch textile designer Simone Post has adapted a traditional wax printing technique to create a colourful fabric that combines 3D geometries with bubble patterns.

Post, who is also a founder of design studio Envisions, designed the Bubble Block Wax for Vlisco, a Dutch fabric manufacturer that produces textiles for the African market.

Bubble Block Wax by Simone Post and Atto Tetteh for Vlisco
Simone Post created the textile using wax printing technique

The brand, which has been in business for over 170 years, uses a method derived from traditional Indonesian batik to create its African-inspired prints. Post adapted this technique to create bubble patterns that never repeat.

These bubbles are overlaid with a hypnotic geometric print that brings together 3D blocks and undulating waves.

Bubble Block Wax by Simone Post and Atto Tetteh for Vlisco
It combines bubble pattern with a hypnotic geometric print

"The irregularity in the bubbles is a unique quality, which means that no metre of Vlisco is exactly the same," explained Post.

"It indicates life in the textiles, which adds a quality unlike any other textile printing company," she told Dezeen.

Bubble Block Wax by Simone Post for Vlisco
Post's technique sees the wax-covered cloth get crushed before being indigo-dyed

Traditionally Vlisco's printing process involves using copper rollers to print a design onto cotton in wax. The fabric is then bathed in indigo dye, before parts of the wax are removed. After that, colours are printed on in layers.

"Printing with the wax has a lot of difficulties and technical limitations," explained Post, "for example, a piece of wax on a piece of cloth can break and let the colours seep through, or it can happen that different layers of colours don’t fit exactly on top of each other."

Bubble Block Wax by Simone Post for Vlisco
This process creates unique variations, so the bubble patterns never repeat

Post's technique see the wax-covered cloth get crushed before being indigo-dyed, which creates the unique variations.

She also managed to avoid the problem of colours not lining up, by developing a design where, instead of creating an outline drawing and filling it in, the geometric pattern is drawn on in colour.

"The colours combined together give a lot of new possibilities," added Post.

Bubble Block Wax by Simone Post for Vlisco
The geometric pattern is printed in a way that avoids colour overlap

Post has previously worked with Vlisco on numerous projects, including other textiles and a range of carpets made from leftover and misprinted fabrics.

Bubble Block Wax is the first of several Bubble Wax prints that the designer has created for the brand. It comes in a variety of colourways, from a simple blue and purple design to one that combines shades of orange, green and brown.

Bubble Block Wax by Simone Post and Atto Tetteh for Vlisco
Ghanian fashion designer Atto Tetteh has created a range of garments from the fabric

To celebrate the project, Vlisco enlisted Ghanian fashion designer Atto Tetteh to create a range of garments from the fabric.

His designs include tailored suits and shirts that contrast the brights colours and patterns.

"It is always one of the best moments to see how the textile print comes to life when applied in a beautiful way like this," added Post.

Bubble Block Wax by Simone Post and Atto Tetteh for Vlisco
Tetteh also used other Bubble Wax prints in his designs

Post founded her eponymous studio after graduating from Design Academy Eindhoven in 2015. She is one of 24 designers that makes up Envisions, which was named Emerging Designer of the Year at Dezeen Awards 2018.