Shweshwe Fabric

Shweshwe fabric is a 100% cotton fabric dating back to the indigo cloth of 2400BC. It was first brought to Africa by French missionaries as a gift for the Lesotho king in the 1800’s. Adopted by African ladies as a traditional cloth for clothing and head scarves, Shweshwe fabric has entrenched itself in African culture. Described as the tartan of South Africa, we have embraced our heritage by designing and manufacturing everyday pieces for you, your home and office.

Traditionally characterized by intricate geometric patterns, Shweshwe fabric is now available in a multitude of color and design options. Appealing to both the traditionalist as well as those seeking a modern muted tone or vibrant pop of color. Authentic shweshwe (marketed under the brand name 3 CATS) is now solely manufactured by Da Gama Textiles in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. The authentic Shweshwe product is identified by its waxy texture, unique smell and the characteristic irregular and narrow width of the fabric. Each bolt of Shweshwe fabric varies slightly in width. Prewashing is advised before cutting and sewing the fabric as it shrinks substantially. The color will run during the first few wash cycles.

Shweshwe fabric’s appeal is in its color, texture, design and history. Shweshwe ages gracefully whilst getting softer with each wash. The color and design will gently fade over time adding to the authenticity of this fascinating fabric. Shweshwe is a quality product renowned for its durability which is testament to the traditional manufacture method still used today. To preserve the color and design of your Shweshwe product avoid placing it in direct sunlight for long periods of time.


Authentic Shweshwe

–  100% cotton
–  Made in South Africa
–  Block discharge printing method
–  Durable, versatile, authentic

Manufactured by Da Gama Textiles in the Eastern Cape, South Africa