Morning all. It’s Wednesday and we’re talking textiles. A little while ago I came across this image featuring a gorgeous throw from Anthropologie that is right up my bohemian alley. While it’s out of stock (sniff) I got to thinking about how much I love African wax print cloth and by extension, Shweshwe, which is basically the same thing but with more defined patterns and a typically less vibrant palette (mostly but not exclusively blues, browns, and reds) and how I want more of it in my home. I already have two floor mattresses covered in Shweshwe but my sights are set on Wax Hollandais, as it’s also known due to the fact that, while the patterns and colour are pure African inspiration, its manufacturing origins are historically in Holland. I’m not into solid swathes of it but like the more contemporary approach which is to combine different styles for a patchwork effect, a mix-and-match riot of colour and pattern.
Look at the fabric here, with offcuts made into party bunting. So much cooler than ticking or flowers or navy stripes
And this amazing Wax Going On collection by Paris-based designer Sandrine Alouf. I love how the seat and back are both different fabrics, juxtaposed against the Scandi style light wood and sparse lines of the chairs
Scatter cushions and upholstery are effective ways to bring print into your life. Italian designer Paola Navone has long had a love affair with the trans-continental appeal of wax cloth that culminated in her 2014 Afrika collection for Dutch furniture brand Linteloo
I’m especially enamoured with the idea of greens. Aren’t these so fresh and fab?
More gorgeous chairs by Sandrine Alouf from the Wax Going On collection
Local design studio Babatunde make the coolest hats, fashion accessories and laptop bags made from wax cloth as well as fabulous umbrellas in an array of fabrics (great gifts, don’t you think).
Vlisco is one of the bigger brands and quite widely available locally. The Cape Town parade is a good place to find cloth, as are your local markets. Most big fabric shops have African textiles available too. Da Gama Textiles is a local fabric house specialising in Shweshwe and African inspired designs, both traditional and with more of a modern, fashion edge. See their website or call them for stockists.