Vlisco’s heritage is quite unlike any other. For over 175 years, we have been creating original, high-quality textiles that have become part of the fashion landscape and many traditions and memories across Central and West Africa. Longstanding histories and captivating stories go hand in hand. Dive in to our timeline of historical events that tell our Vlisco story.

An old indigo and white Vlisco fabric with flower patterns
The Founding of Vlisco

In 1844, Pieter Fentener van Vlissingen, often referred to as Pieter 2, took over his father’s cotton printing mill in Helmond, The Netherlands. Two years later, he renamed it P.F. van Vlissingen & Co., now known as Vlisco.

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A Vlisco creative designer drawing patterns on black paper
Vlisco’s Signature Handwriting

Vlisco designs aim to be as versatile, colourful and expressive as the women who wear them. The magic of Vlisco’s signature handwriting is an interplay of many factors.

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A photograph taken by Seydou Keïta of 3 african women in Vlisco african print in front of an old car
Seydou Keïta

One of the African photographers that captured the Vlisco-Africa connection is Seydou Keïta.

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A colourful Vlisco Java fabric portraying Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela

February 11. On this day in 1990 Nelson Mandela was released from prison. The release sparked great joy all around the world and to commemorate this historical event Vlisco made a Java-print with Mandela’s portrait.

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An old Vlisco fabric depicting the plane De Pelikaan
De Pelikaan

December 22. On this day in 1933 KLM’s ‘De Pelikaan’ set a world speed record. After a flight of 4 days, 4 hours and 40 minutes, KLM’s Fokker F.XVIII, nicknamed ‘De Pelikaan’, landed at the airport of Batavia, the capital of the Dutch East Indies. The aircraft was filled with Christmas letters and packages, but more importantly, set a new speed record in aviation history.

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Yellow java fabric being printed on a roller

Vlisco started in 1846 with a handful of Dutch illustrators who created interpretations of Batik prints to homage the ancient Indonesian design.

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