Colour inspiration – African Wax Print Fabric

Posted On: Monday, October 6, 2014

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I’m Becky from Pretty Dandy. Before I begin I’d like to say a big thank you to Danni for inviting me to be a guest contributor to her blog, what an honour… and a responsibility! I’ll do my very best to keep up the high standard she sets, and I hope all you regular readers enjoy my post.

I decided to write about colour inspiration. This is something I do on my own blog from time to time to share ideas for new and interesting ways to combine colour. I find inspiration in lots of different places and thought today I would share a long-time favourite of mine… African wax print fabrics. These are traditionally made in Africa (as the name suggests), although there are also a lot of dutch companies producing these designs. There’s a huge range of prints, usually produced in small batches, and the designs they create are fabulous.

If you’re a fan of bold colour, then you will love these. They combine palettes in surprising and beautiful ways, with contrasting shades and beautiful hues throughout. And that’s before you even look at the detail of the design!

I always find myself particularly attracted to the fabrics which use just two or three bold colours, but you can also find beautiful prints in more muted tones, or which just use a single colour. There’s no end to the creativity of these fabrics and new designs come out all the time, which means more new inspiration for us!

Pink and green is a great combination – a bright mid-tone of both works really well, especially when used in fairly equal amounts like this:

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Different shades of green can work well to create a harmonious whole:

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Yellow & deep pink, with lighter tones to contrast with the strength of the pink. Lovely.

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Pink, orange and green – sixties colours, brought together against a dark background and looking wonderful.

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Purple and pale grey make a beautiful combination. A less ‘hot’ colour combination than some of the ones above, but still very stylish and easy to use in a whole room décor scheme.

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I love the delicate lemon yellow and baby blue combination here with a warm charcoal grey to balance them out. Would be fab in a nursery.


Orange and a rich deep cobalt blue – stunning together – followed by a similar idea of warm yellow with the same rich blue and finally a combination of both.

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An unexpected shade of brown anchors this bold colour combination.


Yellow with pale cream and a warm black/dark brown contrast.

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Soft pink, soft indigo purple both offset with a muted chartreuse green.

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As you can see the range is broad, with everything from a simple graphic repeat pattern in one colour through to a delicately detailed rendition of a whole house in just two tones. But which is your favourite? Leave a comment to let us know, or to share one of your own… There’s a whole world of these amazing patterns to explore!



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