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African Fashion

Colour, innovation, design: that's African fashion

When we're shopping for fabrics in Africa, we're always on the lookout for something new.

Funny, but we never look far. Something eye-catching is inevitably just around the corner.

And - when you put your imagination to work - there's no telling where experimenting with African fabics will take you.

So get creating... get sewing!

Shwe Shwe from South Africa - perfect for dressmaking

All over southern Africa, you'll see women, children and men wearing Shwe Shwe fabrics.

  • Dresses and skirts - yes
  • Shirts and blouses - plenty
  • Trousers and jackets - of course
  • Bags and accessories - yo
  • And even shoes!

Traditionally, Shwe Shwe only came in indigo, with a smattering of red and chocolate. That was it for colours, so that's what people wore.

In recent years Da Gama Textiles in South Africa - the only genuine Shwe Shwe maker - has developed a vast range of colourways, all in the traditional Shwe Shwe designs.

View and buy: traditional Shwe Shwe Indigo

Dive into: the latest Shwe Shwe colours

And remember: we only sell genuine Shwe Shwe fabrics, made in South Africa - not Chinese copies.

Jenny loves Shwe Shwe from South Africa

Bombay Blue Necklace - Liz Le Feuvre

Liz Le Feuvre is creative jewellery designer and gemologist based in Switzerland.

She's inspired by the lakes and rivers of her mountain environment, hence the name of her business: Swiss Blue.

Preserving the environment and recycling are important to Liz, so it's only natural that she uses our recycled bottle glass beads - in the Bombay Blue colourway, of course.

In addition to bespoke commissions, you can find Liz's wonderful creations online at

View and buy: Bombay Blue Bottle Glass Beads

View and buy: more colours of Recycled Bottle Glass Beads

Bombay Blue necklace © Liz Le Feuvre

African wax print: wear it, love it

Magie and Bob are great fans of African wax print fabrics.

When we're in West Africa, we're always on the hunt for great new designs - not just for the shop, but for our outfits as well.

So, what makes African wax print so appealing as a dressmaking and tailoring fabric?

  • Marvellous designs that just say Africa
  • Bright and vibrant colours
  • 100% cotton - easy to work with
  • Superb quality - as long as you're talking the real thing, made in Ghana
  • Robust and long-lasting dyes that wash and wash - again, as long as it's the real thing and not a Chinese copy

PS. It helps to have a marvellous tailor/seamstress like our own Sister Naa in Accra - a lovely person and a great friend.

View and buy: African wax print fabrics

Magie and Bob with model their new shop outfits in Accra
Photo © Richard Bram

Trish Graham: our introduction to Ghana bead culture

Flash back to 2005, Magie and Bob's first trip to Ghana. In Accra, we met Trish Graham - beaded jewellery designer and prominant member of the Ghana bead community.

Next thing you know, Trish had us on the bead trail to Krobo-Odumasi and Koforidua, introducing us to Ghana's bead culture, along with the makers and traders that keep the traditions alive.

Back then, Trish designed and made jewellery and we stocked her pieces here on the website. Now, after 25 years in Africa, Trish has retired back home to Canada. We're still very close friends and have travelled together in Africa since then.

And those makers and suppliers - treasured friends like Oklah, Hidir and Felicia - are still a big part of what we do.

So here's a bit of a nostalgic look back at a few of Trish's beaded jewellery creations. We hope they inspire you.

View and buy: our African Jewellery Kits

Trish Graham in her Accra studio, 2011: with selected pieces
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