Johannesburg

At this fabric wholesaler and haberdashery in the heart of the city's historic fashion district, you'll find the most colourful array of shweshwe fabrics, a true South African fashion icon.

Manufactured by Da Gama textiles, this fabric has delicate patterns, rich colours, a distinctive feel and a long history. A stiff cotton block-printed cloth (originally made in India) it was introduced to the Cape by European settlers in the mid-1800s and soon adopted by Xhosa women as their own. The name is said to come from the sound made by the movement of this fabric, but also linked to gifts given by French missionaries to King Moshoeshoe I of the Basotho.

One of the most famous prints is the Madiba Range which is adorned with the face of Nelson Mandela. Da Gama Textiles based in King William’s Town, Eastern Cape has been producing these fabric since 1948. Look for the Three Cats printed on the inside of the cloth to ensure its authenticity. Besides from being popular and super-fashionable to wear, shweshwe cloth also makes great tablecloths and cushion covers.

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Open

Open 08:30-17:00. Sat 08:30-13:00. Closed Sun.

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