Batik Dyed and Hand Stamped Lappa Suit with Embroidery from Liberia

Artist Unknown
Gift of Barbara Paxon
Hand Dyed and Stamped Cotton Cloth with Embroidery
Artworks -
Two piece suit with a blouse and wrap skirt. Both are made from the same pattern and type of fabric. Base color is yellow with areas of indigo blue and kola nut brown in the pattern. Geometric pattern throughout in a diamond and cross shaped pattern. Blouse arms have some frill, dark band at the bottom. Skirt has small strings attached to the top, darker bands along each shorter side. Embroidery along one short side of the skirt panel.
Historical Context:
The batik method of dyeing fabric is a process where wax is applied to the fabric by hand or with stamps. When dyed, these areas will resist the color and remain the color of the fabric. Multi-colored effects are created by boiling off the wax and dyeing the fabric several times. The lappa, wrapper, or pagne is a colorful garment widely worn in West Africa by both men and women. It has formal and informal versions and varies from simple draped clothing to fully tailored ensembles. The formality of the wrapper depends on the fabric used to create it.