What is shweshwe?
Shweshwe is a printed cotton fabric that is manufactured in South Africa. It is also known as shoeshoe or isishweshwe.
Shweshwe is a cotton-rich fabric it is extremely versatile. There are many uses which can be adorned and include casual everyday wear but very much the chosen African print for special occasions such as weddings, accessories as well as even upholstery
Where does the name, Shweshwe, come from?
The local name shweshwe has a close relationship from the then Lesotho King Moshoeshoe.
King Moshoeshoe was gifted with fabric by missionaries in the 18th Century and then became popularized after he instructed production of Shweshwe to be made in Lesotho.
it was then referred to, on the ground, as shoeshoe and eventually shweshwe.
Shweshwe dresses and attire for women
Shweshwe is traditionally used to make dresses, skirts, aprons and wraparound clothing.
Shweshwe dresses are traditionally worn by newly married South African women, known as makoti, and married Sotho women.
Shweshwe attire for men
In modern times men use shweshwe predominantly for weddings to celebrate the union of the 2 families.
Over time shweshwe shirts have entered the main stream as every day wear as a replacement for Euro Centric male wear.
How to tell real from fake shweshwe?
Historically, starch was used to preserve the shweshwe fabric when it was transported on long sea voyages from Europe to South Africa to prevent it getting damaged by damp. This calling card has been kept even though the shweshwe fabric is now produced locally in South Africa to ensure that clientele can tell the real from the fake.
The Three Cats branded shweshwe produced by the company Da Gama is currently the largest producer of shweshwe. They are based in the Eastern Cape of South Africa in village called Zwelitsha near King William’s Town.
P&H Boutique is proud to utilize original 3 cat shweshwe in many of their designs.
Visit the Menlyn store in Pretoria to view the wide selection of ready made shweshwe dresses in different sizes.
Alternatively you are welcome to discuss and make arrangements for a custom design where the expert personnel can guide you and ensure you look beautiful and fabulous for your special occasion.