From way back, a large collection of beautiful fabrics has served as a source of inspiration for Vlisco's design department. In 1961, this collection was entrusted to the company museum, the Pieter Fentener van Vlissingen Foundation (Vlisco Museum). In addition to acquisitions, the collection has been built up by donations and, in particular, by products manufactured by the company itself.
The museum collection includes, among other, original batik fabrics from the Dutch East Indies, but also woven cloths, ikats, Japanese katagamis, and blankets. Another part of the collection consists of items such as hand-printed fabric swatches and roller print fabric swatches manufactured by Vlisco for a large number of markets all over the world. The source of inspiration for these products came from the same collection, for example from the swatches of ethnic fabrics.
The digital collection
Because of the fragility of fabrics, the 13,375 items were photographed in 1982 using a professional camera (Minolta 9XI) in a studio setting with professional lighting. The negatives of all the photographs (size 24x36 mm) have been arranged in 10 stamp albums. But the negatives are also fragile. Therefore, the negatives have now been digitized in order to preserve the knowledge of the past and the current visual images.