Magie Relph and Bob Irwin have been roaming Africa for over 30 years - researching, documenting and buying textiles and fabrics. Come back often to see what's new.
In northern Ghana the traditional men's garment is a short, thigh length smock called a fugu smock. Locally grown cotton is handspun, usually dyed with indigo, then handwoven into narrow strips up to 60 metres long. Tailors sew the strips together into smocks for everyday and ceremonial wear. The more elaborate the smock - and especially the embroidery - the wealthier and more important the wearer. Bob has acquired a small collection over the years, but in order to buy more he has to make some wardrobe space.
View and buy: Fugu Smocks
Isobel has been at it again - getting creative with fabrics, that is.
As soon as she showed her nifty little baskets to Magie, they agreed instantly that they make a fabulous kit.
Each kit contains enough genuine Shwe Shwe fabric to make 2 - as in two! - charming baskets, including lining fabric, beads for embellishing and full instructions with photos.
Available in four colourways: Blue, Green, Purple and Red.
View and buy: Shwe Shwe Woven Basket Kit
Magie's been busy in her sewing room lately updating our popular Jo'burg Beauty Wallhanging Kit. This new version combines our Shwe Shwe Colours fabrics from South Africa and our African wax print fabrics from Ghana.
With special thanks to Helen Conway, who designed the original kit for us.
View and buy: Jo'burg Beauty II Wallhanging Kit
Magie always tries to keep busy when we're on the road in Africa. To fill those long hours waiting for transport or queueing on borders, what does she do? She gets out her scraps of fabric and gets stitching! Introducing Magie's Postcard Collection: small handstitched quilts she makes while we're travelling.
This one - Postcard from Sirigu - is Magie's interpretation of the painted house motifs in Sirigu village in northern Ghana.
View more from: Magie's Postcard Collection