R6104/6 Shweshwe Sample Book

cardboard sample book with three white cat faces on a red background with a black border

Shweshwe sample book (Museum Accession Number R6104/6)

This sample book or catalogue was produced by Da Gama to showcase their range of shweshwe fabrics to textile buyers. Shweshwe, or German cloth as it is also known in some areas, is a printed cotton fabric that is so ubiquitous in southern Africa that it has been called the denim of the region. Shweshwe was traditionally made in indigo and white and brown and white, but numerous colours and styles are now made. The ‘three cats’ logo on the front cover is a easily recognisable design, and all shweswhe produced by Da Gama has the ‘three cats’ logo stamped on the back of the cloth. Collected in South Africa as part of the Fashioning Africa project.

Creator: Da Gama textiles

Place: South Africa, Southern Africa, Africa

Date: 2008

Four swatches of shweshwe fabric in a sample book
Shweshwe fabric samples (Museum Accession Number R6104/6)