Welcome 2015

2014 saw big changes at The African Fabric Shop.

After many years of climbing over fabrics, beads and baskets piled in every available space around our house, we took the plunge and moved our modest fair trade business into the old post office in our village of Meltham in West Yorkshire.

We don't open the shop to the public on a daily basis, but Magie and Isobel are there almost every day doing the mail order and planning events - so we are happy to welcome visitors by appointment. Please call first to make sure we are there.

t: 01484 850188

Open Days and Workshops

We've planned a series of Open Days - roughly one per month all through 2015. Plus: Workshops with Magie, Isobel and occasional guest tutors.

View: Open Days and Workshop schedule 2015

Come to our next Open Day
Saturday 7 Feb : 10 am - 4 pm
24 Holmfirth Road, Meltham, HD9 4ER

Isobel, Magie and Bob in our new African Fabric Shop:
Plus Frank - the digital version

Workshops at The African Fabric Shop

Make African Earrings with Isobel Holland

Tue 12 Feb 2015, 7 - 9.30 pm

Warning: it's addictive!

Learn how to make unique, cool and sophisticated earrings using African beads. Isobel will take you through selecting the right beads, design considerations and construction - including the fiddly bits!

Workshop includes:

  • Expert and inspiring tuition by creative jewellery designer Isobel Holland
  • Beads and materials required to make two sets of earrings
  • Sterling silver ear wires
  • Or, nickel-free ear screws for unpierced ears

Venue: The African Fabric Shop
The Old Post Office, 24-26 Holmfirth Road, Meltham, Holmfirth, HD9 4ER

Cost: £15 per person

Or call: 01484 850188


Earrings © Isobel Holland

Indigo Sampler Workshop with Magie Relph

Thu 19 Mar 2015, 1.30 - 4 pm

African weavers and dyers - especially in West Africa - are known for their prodigious use if indigo, the 'King of Colours'.

Why not use some of these inspiring textiles to make a sampler or small wallhanging?

Workshop includes:

  • Expert background information tuition by Magie Relph
  • Enough materials to make a small sampler or wallhanging
  • Note: this is a hand-sewing workshop

Venue: The African Fabric Shop
The Old Post Office, 24-26 Holmfirth Road, Meltham, Holmfirth, HD9 4ER

Cost: £20 per person

Or call: 01484 850188

Indigo sampler © Magie Relph

Janice Gunner Workshop: To Boldly Go

Tue 28 Apr 2015, 10 - 4 pm

Have you ever wondered what to do with all those big, bold prints that you just couldn't resist adding to your stash? The ones that just literally called out to you, 'Buy me, buy me!'

Then this is the workshop for you because Janice will show you just what to do with them.

You'll explore a variety of techniques including:

  • Free form piecing
  • Fussy cutting
  • Appliqué
  • And more!

Venue: The African Fabric Shop
The Old Post Office, 24-26 Holmfirth Road, Meltham, Holmfirth, HD9 4ER

Cost: £45 per person

Or call: 01484 850188

To Boldly Go sampler
© Janice Gunner

NEW: African Fabric Shop
Gift Vouchers

Prompted by a special request we received from a loyal customer at our recent, fantastic World Textile Day in Bristol, we have added something new to tempt you!

Just in time for Christmas

Now you can buy African Fabric Shop Gift Vouchers right here on the website. And it's really easy!

  • Vouchers have a value of £10, £20 or £50 and are valid for one year.
  • Add one or more gift vouchers to your secure online Shopping Basket.
  • Check out and pay for your order as normal.
  • We'll send you your printed vouchers in a nice, Africa-themed gift card - blank, of course, so you can write your own greeting.
  • Your lucky recipient can redeem her vouchers against any African Fabric Shop website purchase.
  • When ordering, just type in your unique code and your voucher value will be subtracted from your order total.

£10 Gift Voucher

£20 Gift Voucher

£50 Gift Voucher

You can change the quantity when you check out.

Postmaster's Choice Adventure Packs
of colourful African fabrics

When our local postmaster James took up patchwork, he asked us for a random selection of our brightest 'rainbow of colours'.
His first quilt was a great success and presto:
our Postmaster's Choice Adventure Pack was born.

View and buy: Postmaster's Choice fabrics

NEW Langa Lapu sun prints

There's nothing quite like these colourful hand-dyed Langa Lapu sun prints from South Africa.

Totally unique. Totally beautiful. Totally fantastic.

View and buy: Langa Lapu sun prints

Great for Christmas: Kenyan kikoys

100% cotton woven wrap-arounds

Look no further! Our newest selection of traditional kikoy wrap-arounds are colourful, soft, durable, practical and versatile.

Great as a beach wrap, beach or picnic blanket, scarf, shawl, table cloth, table runner, wallhanging, or - use your imagination!

View and buy: Kikoy Wraps

Click to order

Click to order

Exclusive African Fabric Shop discount price

African Wax Print: A Textile Journey

African wax print holds a very special place in Magie's heart. When she first ventured into the chaos of an African market in 1984, African wax print fabric just grabbed her. It hasn't let go since.

Not only does Magie use African wax print fabric in her work as a textile artist, she has done extensive research into its history, manufacture, design, use and importance as an icon of African style.

So here we have it: the only book devoted exclusively to African wax print fabric!

Tick box to select item. You can change the quantity after clicking "Add to Basket"

Book only, unsigned £10.00

Why not have your book signed and gift wrapped in a fat quarter of colourful African wax print fabric?

Signed copy - gift wrapped in African wax print fabric: £12.00

I love this book. It is interesting, informative, funny, thought provoking. The Journal for Weavers, Spinners and Dyers. Spring 2011.

Magie and Bob took me on a magical journey to Africa through not only their words, but the images and inspirational textile art that illustrate their story. A fabric feast to make your mouth water. Janice Gunner, stitched textile artist and author of Shibori for Textile Artists.

Only £10.00

Annie Marsters

Isipathi Zwamanzi

'Safe water saves lives': and international aid organisation Just a Drop is providing just that across Africa and the developing world.

In support of a water project in rural Kenya, Annie Marsters created Isipathi Zwamanzi - 'The Water Carrier'.

She used polymers to harden and sculpt our Amafu fabrics and dress her figure of a woman carrying water. Wonderful!

Even more wonderful, her piece raised £1,000 at auction which went directly to the Kenya water project. Well done, Annie!

View: Amafu fabrics from South Africa.

Click to enlarge

Isipathi Zwamanzi
© Annie Marsters

Leila Arakji

Bark cloth pouch

Leila Arakji of Lilac Tree Crafts has been experimenting recently with our unique and versatile bark cloth from Uganda.

Here's her first prototype design for a bark cloth pouch. Isn't it fantastic?

View: Bark Cloth from Uganda.

Click to enlarge

Bark cloth pouch
© Leila Arakji

Brigitte Ascher

African batik coat

When ever we're in Africa we visit our tailors and have new outfits made, especially from hand-dyed African batiks. They wash and wash and last and last.

Brigitte Ascher had the same idea and created this wonderful coat using fabrics dyed by Grace Adover in Accra and Nene Jallow in The Gambia.

Superb, Brigitte.

View: Hand-dyed African batik

Click to enlarge

African batik coat
© Brigitte Ascher

Now on YouTube: How to reshape a Bolga basket

When we post out our fantastic made in Ghana fair trade Bolga baskets, we send them flattened and wrapped in bubble wrap: 'Flat as a hat,' in Bob's words.

Our baskets are so well made that reshaping them to perfection is easy and only takes a few minutes.

To show you how, Bob has just published on You Tube a short video: How to reshape a Bolga basket.

View: Bolga Fair Trade Baskets

The African Fabric Shop Supports the Dream Children's Home in Kenya

Africa is very important to us and we travel there as often as we can to source new fabrics, beads and baskets. In addition to supporting small-scale craft producers, we try to give a bit more back to Africa by donating to small African charities.

On Magie's latest trip to Kenya she visited the Dream Children's Home in the Ngong Hills near Nairobi. This inspiring project provides shelter, food, clothing, medical care, counselling, education and hope for needy orphans who have nowhere else to turn.

We are now supporting the Dream Children's Home directly through our own modest donation programme. For every sale of our Safari and Skin Print fabrics and Safari Print Adventrue Packs, we donate a percentage to this very worthy cause.

Find our more: www.dreamchildrenshome-kenya-orphanage.org

And donate directly: www.betterplace.org

Using African Fabrics

What can you do with African fabrics?

Answer: Visit our customer gallery, aptly called Using African Fabrics.

From quilts to wallhangings. From bags to clothing. You're sure to be inspired by what our innovative and creative customers have been working on.