Quilting by Celia

Quilting by Celia

Monday, February 21, 2011

My collection of Shweshwe fabrics

As I had mentioned in a previous posting, I collect African fabrics.

The ones I'm showing today are from my collection and they are known as Shweshwe. 

This fabric is a traditional wax coated 100% cotton fabric originally created to make traditional garments in South Africa. The word means "the sound the cloth makes when you walk".  The fabric has been made more popular internationally by Nelson Mandela, who is often seen wearing a Shweshwe shirt.  

Traditional colours are red, indigo ,brown and  brown/yellow. 

The Three Leopards range introduces new designs on a regular basis.

The Three Cats range is sourced from a closed library of designs.   


I love these fabrics so much I am always reluctant to cut them up, so I haven't done too many projects with them.
I have made a couple of needlecases, one in red for my mom and this one in brown for myself.

For more info check out Da Gama Textiles They have compiled a wealth of very interesting information around the culture and origin of these wonderful textiles.


  1. Those are fabulous fabrics - maybe you should use some for things that you look at all the time around the house so you can enjoy more of them! Happy stitching...or not (hee hee)

  2. What lovely fabrics with so much character.

  3. I use shweshwe in shirtmaking. Don't you just love the smell of it!!! Only DaGama fans will know what I'm talking about.

  4. I saw your website, they look fantastic..Even the stiffness is so unique..


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