Exploring the versatility of Shweshwe
African print in fashion has been “IN” for while and continues to be relevant till date. The South African version of African print is the SHWESHWE; this fabric has celebrated South African fashion and culture for over 80 years. The material was once only printed in blue on white designs but these days, the colours have exploded and so have the designs printed on the fabric. What used to be made just for dresses – and very understated ones at that – is now finding its way into an ever-widening circle of products. People are now wearing their shweshwe “colours” with pride.
Shweshwe fabrics and designs are not just beautiful to look at, they add pops of colour and texture to any outfit. There are so many contemporary ways that South Africans – and people all over the world – are celebrating the print. They are used in invitations, made into shirts, neckties, statement neck-pieces, hats, face caps/visors, stuffed toys and used in patchwork quilts. From traditional African weddings to western-style affairs, this fabric is becoming a more widely featured element in wedding dress designs. The Shweshwe has made a huge impact on the international fashion scene and bridal industry alike. Fashion shows – local and international, and bridal parties are not complete without its prominent feature.
The use of ShweShwe in handbags, purses and clutches, certainly not a new trend in fashion, neither will the trend go out of fashion. Customised footwear featuring the print is also gaining traction as a trend, for both male and female “fashionistas”. Every fashion-forward woman would be happy to add one of such to her collection of wears. Afro-centric fanatics looking to add some local flavour to their collections will love the range of clothing items and accessories made from Shweshwe.
And even in the world of décor, the options are limitless. Along with its uses in the wedding and fashion industries, Shweshwe also made its mark on the interior décor world. Décor items in the form of quirky home accessories like scatter cushions, centrepieces, artworks, even in upholstery and as wallpapers. The use of beautifully busy and vibrantly-colourful patterns in furniture designs, adds unique pops of texture to modern living-spaces. This helps in creating the perfect focal point in any room.
Parents are increasingly opting for clothing items that are unique and fashionable. They are now allowing their children to express themselves through their clothing. This means clothing the kids in attires that gives them the freedom to play and express themselves. Several local designers are looking into making unique and comfortable children clothing items from 100% cotton Shweshwe.
MHC, being a major stockist of Shweshwe materials, would like invite you to come and browse through the various colours and designs we have in stock. You can choose from our range for your next art project or clothing designs you want to make.