We love shwe shwe – the waxy feel, the iconic scent of fabric dye, the endless geometric patterns and the bright and bold colours. We never get bored and always keep choose new patterns for our range of notebooks, and it is no surprise that we make all our hats in this happy vibes fabric too!
Some facts about shweshwe:
- The local name shweshwe is derived from the fabric’s association with Lesotho‘s King Moshoeshoe I, also spelled “Moshweshwe”. Moshoeshoe was gifted with the fabric by French missionaries in the 1840s and subsequently popularised it
- It is also known as “German print” sejeremanein Sotho and ujamani in Xhosa, after 19th century German and Swiss settlers who imported the blaudruck (“blueprint”) fabric for their clothing and helped entrench it in South African culture
- Shweshwe is traditionally used to make dresses, skirts, aprons and wraparound clothing and is traditionally worn by newly married Xhosa women, known as makoti, and married Sotho women
- Aside from traditional wear, shweshwe is used in contemporary South African fashion design for women and men from all ethnic groups as well as for making accessories and upholstery, it is also used in the United States as a quilting fabric