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African Inspirations

Be inspired by our customers' creations

The African Fabric Shop is a small, fair trade business dealing in relatively obscure, specialist products: African fabrics and beads. (Our Bolga baskets are a bit more main stream, of course).

So we're pretty astounded and very delighted to have such a loyal, interesting and creative following, here online, in person at textile events and at our Shop Open Days.

In this section of the website we'll be showcasing the creative work of our customers and - when she can find the time to make a new quilt - the woman who keeps the Saturday Boy working feverishly, Magie Relph.

An African Fandango - Alison Farmer

Alison love anything indigo. And, she loves working with African fabrics.

So when Magie asked her to experiment with an indigo version of our Vintage Kente Discovery Pack, we knew she'd create something wonderful.

Thanks for the inspiration, Alison.

View and buy: Vintage Kente Discovery Pack Indigo

An African Fandango © Alison Farmer

Half Metre Challenge II - Isobel Holland

One of our most enjoyable tasks around the African Fabric Shop is selecting fabrics to make up our various mixed packs.

Just imagine two big cutting tables piled high with fabrics and there are no rules.

Magie and Isobel and sometimes Alison just get stuck in and presto: another great selection of fabrics emerges to challenge you.

Then, we have to make up sample pieces to inspire you. Here's one Isobel just whipped up using one of our new Half Metre Challenge packs.

View and buy: Half Metre Challenge Packs

Half Metre Challenge 2 © Isobel Holland

Segou - Magie Relph

Magie loves working with our kola nut and indigo fabrics - all hand-dyed by our friend Musa Jaiteh in The Gambia. As far as we know, he's the only dyer in the country still keeping these old dyeing techniques alive.

Magie made this small wallhanging using one of our Kola and Indigo Inspiration Packs.

Why not see how creative you can be. Just add wadding and away you go.

View and buy: Kola and Indigo Inspiration Packs

Segou © Magie Relph

Vintage Kente Sampler - Magie Relph

Many of Magie's most interesting pieces use various types of the narrow strips of woven cotton we find in West Africa.

For this sampler, Magie used one of our Vintage Kente Discovery Packs, right off the website.

Check 'em out yourself. You're sure to be inspired.

Vintage Kente Discovery - Gold/Blue

Vintage Kente Discovery - Red

Vintage Kente Discovery - Green/Gold

Vintage Kente Sampler © Magie Relph

Leaving the Accra Quilt Show by Helen Conway 

Leaving the Accra Quilt Show Helen ConwayLeaving the Accra Quilt Show © Helen Conway
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