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Shweshwe Fabrics – The Denim or Tartan of South Africa

Seshweshwe is a printed fabric widely used for traditional Sotho (South Africa & Lesotho) clothing. Originally dyed indigo, this fabric is manufactured in a variety of colors and printing designs characterized by intricate geometric patterns.  Due to its timeless popularity, shweshwe has been described as “the denim, or tartan, of South Africa”.  From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Fashion designers have brought shweshwe onto the runways, (check out the video below), interior designers have introduced shweshwe into home design, and sewers and crafters have used shweshwe for anything from jewellery, to purses and shoes, not to mention quilts!  Visit to see more stunning shweshwe fabrics!

Indigo Quilts


Shweshwe Textile and Garment Designer Label Mantsho:

Mantsho” is a Sesotho name meaning “A Beautiful Complexion” a clothing label that was established by Palesa Mokubung in 2004. Palesa holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Fashion Design, she’s an entrepreneur, an award winner and a fashion visionary “who has a rare quality to design from the heart” said Lucilla Booyzen the founder of SA Fashion Week.

Palesa Mokubung‘s bold and original fashion label, Mantsho, brings brilliant retro glamour with a tasteful tribal flourish together, to create quintessential street clothing. “The divine creation of Mantsho garments are inspired by Palesa Mokubung’s personal cultural and social experiences and this is how Mantsho relates to the people. Mantsho is of high quality in terms of design, fabric, and production, using shweshwe,  and other fabrics of high quality. Mantsho (meaning ‘brutally black’) is undeniably setting a new global fashion and attitude trend.” 

South Africa Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015, Mantsho by Palesa Mokubung

Palesa Mokubung/Mantsho Designs

South African superstar LIRA rocking Palesa Mokubung/Mantsho Designs. Belt by Bongiwe Walaza

Shweshwe fabric


Canadian Shweshwe fabric resource:


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