What is "ShweShwe"?

ShweShwe Fabrics

The fabrics of my childhood

I'm very proud to be able to share a part of my childhood and of the rich South African cultural heritage with you. But what exactly are these ShweShwe fabrics and why are they so amazing for creating our chalkbags?

Back to the roots

How ShweShwe came to South Africa

ShweShwe has its roots in european indigo printing methods and was first imported to South Africa in the 19th century. Since then it has has established its popularity as a cultural staple, not just for fashion but in decorations and creative work too. It is a fixture in South African traditional garb and since its introduction many south african-inspired prints and colourways have been launched.

New fashion

The ShweShwe renaissance

For a long time, ShweShwe was exported from Europe to South Africa. In the late 20th century, the printing patterns were brought to South Africa and since then, it has been produced by Da Gama Textiles using the traditional printing methods.

In the past years, ShweShwe has become increasingly popular all across South Africa for its wide applications in fashion and decor.

(Photo: dagama.co.za)

Authentic Label

The "Three Cats" Brand

Authentic ShweShwe fabric is quite easy to determine - apart from its vibrant patterns, it has an unmistakable smell and feel, both of which originate in the traditional printing methods.

The authentic fabric is produced exclusively via the Three Cats brand by Da Gama textiles in South Africa, where we also get our fabrics.

(Photo: dagama.co.za)

A perfect match

Why ShweShwe is perfect for Chalkbags

A robust, durable cotton fabric with a starched characteristic - it couldn't be better for making chalkbags! ShweShwe fabric is not only durable, colourfast and washable, but its unique feel makes it easy to fold and work with.

ShweShwe offers a huge variety of patterns and colourways, so that there's truly something for everyone - light, dark, geometric or flowery, you name it!

My wish

With South Africa in mind

South Africa is a fascinatingly diverse country, with breathtaking nature and wonderful people. My wish is for you to experience a piece of that South African sunshine and zest for life through these vibrant patterns and our lovingly handmade products.

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