We’re just so in love with the traditional African printed fabric, shweshwe, that we’ve decided to add it into our collection of baby wear!
Shweshwe, a stiff cotton fabric thought to originate in India, took off in South Africa when German Settlers introduced the fabric to Xhosa women in the mid 1800’s, who fell in love with it and made it their own. Some say the fabric was given the name shweshwe as that’s the sound you hear when Xhosa ladies go by in their traditional dresses. Others say it got its name from King Moshoeshoe I, King of the Basotho, who was given the indigo dyed fabric as a gift from the French missionaries in the 1840’s.
At present, Da Gama Textiles based in Zwelitsha in King Williams Town, Eastern Cape, South Africa is perhaps the only known producer of traditional Indigo Dyed Discharge Printed Fabric in the world. And because Penelope & Bella is also based in the beautiful Eastern Cape, we have a soft spot for this fabulous fabric which is right on our doorstep.
Read all about the great media response we had to sending the custom-made shweshwe outfit to tennis ace, Serena, here.
You can get in touch with us here if you have any queries on our shweshwe collection, or if you’d like more info.