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 A stiff cotton block-printed cloth (originally made in India) it was introduced to the Cape by European settlers in the mid-1800s and soon adopted by Xhosa women as their own.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.
130 Pritchard St, City Centre
This rejuvenated city square is the heart of Johannesburg's original clothing manufacturing district and is the place to head for pan-African-style inspiration and shopping. Not a conventional shopping mall, rather a hub for fashion talent, with a colleg
130 Pritchard St (cnr Troye St), Fashion Kapitol, City Centre