Last updated on Feb 18th, 2018 at 09:24 pm

ShweShwe fabric, or ‘seshoeshoe’ as it is also known, has been an iconic part of South African culture and fashion for almost 80 years. Check out how this institutional pattern gets a revamp.

Say yes to ShweShwe

The textile has its roots in Xhosa culture but people from all walks of life are embracing it in a variety of new and exciting ways. Here are five contemporary ways that South Africans – and people all over the world – are celebrating the print in 2017.

Bridal bliss

ShweShwe has made a huge impact on the international fashion scene and bridal industry alike, with brides-to-be taking their cues from the runway when choosing the perfect dress for their special day. From traditional African weddings to western-style affairs, this pattern is becoming a more widely featured element in wedding dress design and even décor.

Hit the street

Fashion is always evolving to speak to a wider audience, and the latest trends have seen ShweShwe take its rightful place on the streets of Mzansi too. Shoe fanatics looking to add some local flavour to their collections will love the latest footwear featuring the print.

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Kids’ fashion

Pink and blue are no longer the only options for clothing when it comes to dressing your little girl or boy, and parents are increasingly opting for items that are unique and fashionable, allowing their children to express themselves through their clothing. JenniDezigns is a South African clothing brand that gives kids the freedom to play and express themselves in unique and comfortable clothing items made from 100% cotton ShweShwe. The current collection includes beautiful dresses for little girls, handmade by local seamstresses, which can be paired with wool leggings and a cardigan for winter.

Handbags for Africa (and beyond)

ShweShwe is not just beautiful to look at – it’s also durable enough to hold all your precious belongings in one stylish package. While ShweShwe handbags are certainly not a new trend in fashion, many designers are putting their own unique and modern twists on previous styles to produce beautiful, quirky bags that every fashion-forward woman would be happy to add to her collection. They add a pop of colour and texture to any outfit.

Décor and furniture

Along with its uses in the wedding and fashion industries, ShweShwe has also made its mark on the interior décor world in the form of quirky home accessories, scatter cushions, furniture designs and even wallpapers. The use of the beautifully busy and vibrantly colourful patterns adds a unique pop of texture to the modern living space, creating the perfect focal point in any room.

Image credit: Celeste Compion