R6099/1 Dress

blue and white printed shweshwe dress

Shweshwe dress (Museum Accession Number R6099/1)

This midi dress is made of shweshwe, the iconic printed cotton textile that is so popular it has become known as the denim of southern Africa. The name shweshwe is derived from King Moshoeshoe I of Lesotho (c. 1786 – 1870) who first popularised it. It is also known as German cloth after the Swiss and German settlers who imported the cloth to South Africa. The trims on this dress feature the ‘Three Cats’ shweshwe brand logo which is stamped on the back of fabric as a mark of authenticity. Collected as part of the Fashioning Africa project.

Creator: (fabric) Da Gama Textiles

Place: Zwelitsha, Eastern Cape, South Africa, Southern Africa, Africa

Date: 2004