Have you heard of Shweshwe fabrics?
Our March/April Love of Quilting issue features a quilt made by Evelyn Young called Monkey Business. It is made from a fabric called Schweschwe, that has an interesting and amazing history.
You have probably seen this fabric in historic and contemporary quilts and not been aware that it is still dyed in much the same way it was several hundred years ago. Maybe longer! It is still dyed using natural indigo from many plants. Indigo itself is not a true dye, but when used, produces a chemical reaction between the fabric and the agent. When the fabric is pulled out of the dye pot, the agent oxidizes with air to produce the beautiful blue color.
To top it off, Shweshwe has a positive social impact on impoverished communities in South Africa where it’s manufactured. Read more about Shweshwe fabrics at Marula Imports .
You can also get the kit, including the Shweshwe fabric at Shop Fons & Porter.
Diane, Assistant Editor