Textiles play an important role in African culture and very often are a means of non-verbal communication between people and tribes. Colours and patterns often carry a message across and are deeply embedded in history, mythology and tradition of a particular region of Africa.
We only work on cotton materials from a few countries and they differ not only in appearance, but also the way they are made (weaving, knitting, etc) and dyed. Learn more about these fabrics.
Shweshwe, South Africa
African Wax Prints
Melhfa, Wester Sahara
Shweshwe fabrics are our little discovery. Globally, there is only one factory (in South Africa) which holds a certificate of authenticity. They use cotton imported from Zimbabwe and grown locally in the Eastern Cape. This is a type of percale cotton which is durable, high-quality and airy(although it seems thick).
There’s magic to the way the patterns are created. Read more about shweshwe and its unique, traditional pin printing method in our Blog article.
African Wax Prints
Contemporary African Wax Print is the most popular textile across the whole African continent. It is known as a traditional one but in fact hardly anyone realises that this crazy, colourful patterned cotton was brought to Ghana by the Dutch. Nowadays they are called by different names in various countries and reflect the local cultures. Although a mixed or fully polyester African Wax is also available, we limit ourselves to 100% cotton. If you want to know how to check if your Wax Print is fully cotton or how its vibrant colours and shapes were made, check this article on our Blog.
Melhfa is an airy textile which delights with its delicacy and richness of colours. It can protect from dry and hot weather, strong wind or even sandstorms . Many of them are produced in Senegal, Mauritania, Niger and Mali, yet the most appealing dyeing methods come from Western Sahara.
Melhfa is much more than a beautiful, practical piece. This fabric is known for a symbol of the power of femininity, it represents determined and revolutionary women.
Take a look at the story of Melhfa as the strongest cultural weapon in Western Sahara.