Welcome to Shwe-shwe designs
Established in 2006 in Kraaifontein Cape Town, we have dressed many happy customers with the Seshweshwe fabrics around South Africa with well crafted trendy traditional dresses. We have recently expanded our portfolio to dress the entire family. Men and children’s ranges are also available. We cater for the traditional patterns and for younger trendier traditional fashionistas.
Like the shwe-shwe flower, we are very flexible and versatile in our approach to fashion. We draw inspiration from traditions in Africa and everywhere in the world.
Call us or visit our show rooms in Cape Town and Kraaifontein to place an order as you browse through our rich library of pattern books to inspire you. We use mainly the 3cats Seshweshwe fabric and its variations. We also use other cottons, silk, linen and taffeta.
Whats in a name?
The name Shwe-shwe.com is inspired by a beautiful small (Tsikitlane) flower very significant in the history of the Basotho as a people. It is from the Gazania and Hypoxis argentea (female name) family and grows in the most difficult soils. It is a hardy ground cover that survives and splashes the dry landscape with sunflower yellow colour. Its stringy qualities make it a perfect choice to spin thin soft yet strong thread that is used to make skirts for little girls. They wear only this skirt for everyday play. The Tsikitlane or Shweshwe flower is also considered to have medicinal qualities and is used to treat Letswejane in children. Its stem and flower base has a milky substance and a pleasant semi sweet taste. Much enjoyed as a chewey snack by children as they gather the flowers to take to grandma to make the skirts. This picture of a little Sotho girl was taken in the early 1970s. As the girls grow older they wear softened cow hide dresses and beads. Today the small Sotho girls have traded the beaded skirts and leather skirts for the trendy Seshweshwe dresses that are versatile and popular all over the world.