R6095/8 Textile; Shweshwe

Piece of shweshwe fabric, indigo, white and yellow twist design, from the 'fancy print' series.

Shweshwe (Museum Accession Number R6095/8)

Shweshwe is a printed cotton fabric that is so ubiquitous in southern Africa that it has been called the denim of the region. The name 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. Although modern shweshwe comes in a variety of bright colours, traditional blue and white designs remain incredibly popular. This blue, white and yellow twist design is from Da Gama’s ‘fancy print’ series. Collected as part of the Fashioning Africa project.

Creator: Da Gama Textiles

Place: South Africa, Southern Africa, Africa

Date: 2006