The Androsia Story
Fresh Creek, Andros Island Bahamas is the home of the Androsia Batik Factory. Since 1973 Androsia has been colouring the Bahamas with unique hand waxed and hand dyed batik fabrics and batik garments that are inspired by the beauty of our Bahamian islands.
In 1973, at the same time the Bahamas became an independent country, a small cottage industry was formed by Dick and Rosi Birch of Small Hope Bay Lodge. The idea started when they watched a guest occupy children on a rainy day with a batik craft project.
This was a product that they reasoned could be unique, colourful, and 100% Bahamian. Once the fabric was made, it could be sewn into easy-care island garments. This would help employ single women with families, an objective that was especially important to the Birches.
They developed the concept that each yard would be hand-done. Every print would symbolize a natural element found in the Bahamas, and all the colours would be colours pulled right from the islands.
Androsia soon grew in popularity to the point that it had to be consolidated, and the production moved from Small Hope Bay Lodge and various local homes to the factory site at Fresh Creek it now occupies.
Although much has changed at Androsia from those early days of hand-dyeing fabric in tubs under the palm trees, a lot remains the same. Each and every print, from "Schooling Groupers" to "Breadfruit", is still recognizably Bahamian. Androsia prints feature shells, birds, fish, and flowers fond in the Bahamas, dyed in colours like guava pink, sea green, and aqua-tide.
Every colour still has its origins in the waters, flora and fauna of the Bahamas. Lyford Green is from the beautiful seas off Lyford Cay in Nassau, Shocking Pink is the small line found inside the national flower, the yellow elder, and Cabana Blue is from the boat covers that dot the harbours of Abaco. Every yard is still hand printed and hand dyed and dried under the Bahamian sun.
All Androsia fabrics are hand-waxed and hand-dyed so no two yards are exactly alike. After wax-printing the design, the 100% Natural Fibre Fabric is then hand dyed using some of the finest cold water reactive dyes. When the wax is removed using several baths of very hot water, the beautiful white design remains against the vivid background. The fabric is then dried on clothes lines in the sun.
During the wax removal process on the fabric, minor shrinkage occurs, so that all finished garments and fabrics are preshrunk!
Androsia presently ships to accounts throughout the capital city of Nassau on New Providence, its large neighbor to the north, Freeport, on Grand Bahama, and all of the inhabited Out Islands of the Bahamas.
Androsia comes up with new designs every year, and visitors to the island soon become Androsia collectors. They say that putting on their Androsia reminds them of warm sunny days in the Bahamas.
Many dignitaries and presidents own Androsia. Even the Queen of England received a gift of a beautiful piece of Androsia silk during one visit, and most recently, a quilt of colourful Androsia fabrics.
If you should find yourself on Andros Island, we would be delighted to give you a tour of our factory at Fresh Creek, Andros. Just stop in, and as we say in our country, "May we be strangers no more".
Warm regards from the isles of summer,
THE ANDROSIA FAMILY