Scarecrow Open Weekend at The African Fabric Shop

The coming bank holiday weekend in the UK is a special one in our village of Meltham in the Yorkshire Pennines.

To celebrate, we'll have our shop doors open all weekend.

The highlight, of course, will be our African Flower Power Scarecrow.

Drop by on Saturday 2 May and help us out by making a free flower for our scarecrow.

On Sunday 3 May Meltham will be humming as the Tour de Yorkshire bicycle race roars past our shop.

Finallly, on Monday 4 May as you tour the village discovering all the scarecrows, you can stop by the shop to see our African Flower Power Scarecrow.

We'll also be dressing the front window of our excellent Café 33 in the village centre. Why not drop in for a filling pork pie and mushy peas or a cappucino?

View: Open Days and Workshop schedule 2015

Africa Inspired Necklace Workshop
with Isobel Holland

17 June, half day. Details coming soon.

Many of you already know Isobel and her fantastic jewellery made using our African beads.

Not only is Isobel creative, she's an inspiring teacher as well.

Full details of her next half day jewellery workshop coming soon.

NEW Kuba cloths from the Congo

Kuba is one of the truly unique and astounding African textile traditions.

These cloths are hand-woven using raffia palm in the Congo.

They demonstrate a variety of textile techniques, such as: patchwork, appliqué, embroidery and embellishment.


View and buy: Kuba Cloth

Ghana Bead Culture on YouTube

Magie is a member of the Ghana Bead Society, which works to promote the Ghana bead culture and industry within Ghana and around the world.

This short but fascinating glimpse of Ghana's bead culture was filmed at a recent Society Bazaar.

Enjoy: Watch Ghana bead video

NEW Korhogo cloths from Côte d'Ivoire

On our recent trip to West Africa we were luck enough to find some fantastic Korghogo cloths in a variety of sizes.

Some pieces are of the traditional black on white designs, while others incorporate terracotta and ochre as well.

Most pieces are either 130 wide x 50 cm high or 50 wide x 130 cm high.

One piece is very large - a wopping 250 x 200 cm - which is very rare indeed!

View and buy: Korhogo cloths from Côte d'Ivoire

Click to order Korhogo cloth
View and buy the BIG ONE: Korhogo cloth WKH104

View and buy: Korhogo cloth WKH106

Click to order Korhogo cloth

View and buy: Korhogo cloth WKH111

Click to order Korhogo cloth

Back from Ghana with great new fabrics, beads and fair trade baskets

Our January trip to Ghana this year was a smashing success.

In addition to great fabrics, we're back with an astounding array of our fair trade Bolga baskets to tempt you.

Great colours and great choice!

They've been quite literally flying off the stand at our World Textile Days and also off the website.

All of which means Bob is run-ragged shaping and photographing baskets so that you have plenty of choice. Whew!

Oval Shopping Baskets

Nyariga Shopping Baskets

Pot Baskets

Round Market Baskets - Large/Medium

Round Market Baskets - Small

Aniahmame Ahugre at work:
Another beautiful pot basket nears completion

NEW vintage Mossi indigo cloths: incroyable!

These vintage indigo cloths come from the Mossi people of Burkina Faso.

Approximately 25 years old: each cloth is a unique piece of African textile heritage.

View and buy: Vintage Mossi indigo cloths

Click to order

Click to order

NEW date added

Indigo Sampler Workshop with Magie Relph

Thu 25 Jun 2015, 1.30 - 4 pm : Places available, book now

Thu 19 Mar 2015, 1.30 - 4 pm : Workshop full

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

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

Magie Relph

Tuareg Bag

Magie's latest creation replicates the leather bags carried by Tuareg nomads as they cross the Sahara by camel caravan.

The Tuareg carry with them all of their meagre valuables, including verses from the Koran and silver.

Magie's bag is made from bark cloth. It contains a full set of 21 Agadez crosses which Bob bought from a Tuareg silversmith 30 years ago. The crosses represent the principal trading towns of the Sahara, including Agadez.

View whole bag

View detail

View: Bark Cloth

Click to enlarge

Tuareg Bag
© Magie Relph

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

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:

And donate directly:

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.