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The African Fabric Shop

Back from Ghana and The Gambia

Yup - it was totally great to be back on the road again... catching up with our great friends all across Ghana and The Gambia...

  • Fabric dyers and suppliers like Musa, Neneh, Wally, Esther, Grace, Perpetual and Rose
  • Textile traders like Eric, Kwasi and Mohammed
  • Bead makers and traders like Oklah, Bannor, Kwaku, Amina and Hidir
  • Greg and his gang at Baba Tree Baskets
  • And our superstar fixer extraordinaire Felica

We're flat out just now sorting out our shipments, photographing and uploading new stuff to tempt you as quickly as we can. Visit often to see what's new!

Kenkia gourd baskets: handwoven elegance for your home

Kenkia gourd baskets from Bolga

On our recent Ghana junket we maxed out our time with Gregory McCarthy and his team at the Baba Tree compound in Bolgatanga.

Wow! We were totally amazed at the innovative new basket designs the Baba Tree weavers have created since our last visit - pre-pandemic, that is.

These elegant, full-bodied Kenkia gourd baskets are a true work of art: simple design, difficult and time-consuming to weave.

  • Looks great empty.
  • Looks even better filled with dried foliage from your garden.
  • Or insert a glass container and presto: you've got a big woven flower vase.

View and buy: Kenkia Baskets... plus more decorative baskets

Decor tip: notice how we've used a hand-painted mud cloth from Mali to hide our telly!

Top left: Grace Adover batik FBA722
Top right: Grace and Ya Ya mixing colours
Bottom left: Ya Ya drying fabrics in the African sun
Bottom right: Grace Adover batik FBA724

Grace Adover: 73 and still going strong

We've been buying and selling Grace's fabrics for almost 20 years now and guess what? They just get better and better.

Even at 73 years of age and with her talented right hand woman Ya Ya at her side, Grace still takes a hands-on role around the workshop.

Mixing colours is an art in itself and that's where Grace's years of experimentation and exprience really count.

Then, consider the design and technique options in her repertoire:

  • Wax stamping and overstamping with foam rubber stamps
  • Wax 'splattering' techniques to create a resist
  • Various methods of 'tie and dye'
  • Creative 'scrunching'
  • 'Painting with dyes' - dribbling dyes over the fabric by hand
  • Over-dyeing - applying one colour over another

Hanging out with Grace and Ya Ya, documenting their creations and learning - for us that's what it's all about!

Medaa se - thank you - for your generosity.

Take me there: Grace Adover's latest batiks

In at Nutshell © Liz Hewitt. Inset:  Magie, Janice and Liz opening the African Odyssey exhibition at Open Door gallery

African Odyssey: exhibition, talk, workshops and pop-up shop

Cowslip Workshops, Cornwall: 24 June - 1 July

Following on from our successful Zoom events, Janice Gunner, Liz Hewitt and Magie Relph bring their African Odyssey exhibition to one of our favourite textile destinations - Cowslip Workshops in Launceston, Cornwall.

Highlights of the week include:

  • A Common Thread. Free talk by Magie Relph. 25 Jun, 4.30 pm
  • African  Odyssey workshop with Janice Gunner. 25 Jun, 10 am - 4 pm
  • Little Books of Africa workshop with Liz Hewitt. 27 Jun, 10 - 4 pm
  • Natural Dyeing workshop with Janice Gunner. 28 and 29 Jun, 10 - 4 pm
  • Pop-up Shop. Magie and Bob will be on hand all week with a fabulous array of African fabrics, beads and baskets.
  • Cowslip Café - totally marvellous food!

For details and workshop bookings, please visit:

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