Five local fabric designers on textile trends

A creative nation, South Africans are excellent at finding innovative ways to mix and embrace our diverse cultures.  One of the most versatile ways to do this is through the textiles we wear on our bodies and adorn our homes with.  BigCityLife went to check in with some of our favourite local fabric designers to see what they’re up to.

A go-to design house if you’re looking for a blend of Africa and sugar-and-spice is Design Team.  Their Nomadic Africa collection speaks to our nation’s ability to change and adapt to its surroundings.


“Nomads are foraging, hunter-gather tribes that move around without a fixed pattern.  This collection is an eclectic blend of ethnic patterns and adornments, layering various elements to create a gathered look,” explains co-owner Lise Butler.

“Design Team are currently embracing the celebration and appreciation of design on the African continent.  People are moving away from the satisfaction of cheap, mass manufactured items and seeking out products and designs that show hand-made processes and natural materials.”

I am also completely obsessed with their Protea Collection!

Another well-known and loved local designer currently focussing on what our continent has to offer is Black Fabrics. Their collection, Marrakesh, is inspired by the architecture, tile work and object art of Morocco, but presented in an on trend colour palette.


“Colour is back,” says Stephen Black from Black Fabrics.  “Strong jewel tones are hot and orange combined with chocolate is a great accessory. We’re also expecting greens to expand into grass and forest shades.”

These colour forecasts fit right in with Handmade By Me’s Prickly Pears and African Aloes range.  Inspired to use plants as an interior decorating element, Sera Holland wanted to create something that also embraced the current geometric design movement.


“I always find trends are inspired by the seasons, so I expect this current organic and floral trend will continue into summer in soft pastels with much more texture. Hand crafted with lots of graphic patterns for contrast.”

Melissa Lawrence from Zana is also moving with the graphic trend in her latest Shapes and Waves designs. “We simply love colourful, bold, fun designs that will make a statement in any space.”


“The majority of our designs come from doodles and the process is a cross pollination of ideas and concepts from our team.”

We’ve seen a lot of geometric designs already, but she expects the 70’s inspired prints and geometrics designs to increase and become even bigger this coming season.


Another one of these mid-century inspired design trendsetters is Heather Moore from Skinny laMinx.  Their latest collection, Brise Soleil, is inspired by the perforated screens used in tropical climates to block the sun, but allow fresh, cooling air to move through the house.


“At home and on my travels, I’ve always noticed and photographed the shadows on these brick or concrete structures.  So I came up with three fabric designs in cool shades of grey, rich tropical blues and fresh pale greens by which I hope to communicate a sense of much needed mid-century optimism.”

These current design trends of bold and colourful fabrics create copious opportunities for us to embrace South Africa’s collective culture of colourful fun.  Small pieces such as scatters or tableware, available from most of the designers’ websites, is a great, safe way to incorporate the trend into your space.  Don’t be afraid to cover a whole window or chair in it if the feeling grabs you though.

Belinda Fourie
About me

Business Owner l Decorator I Writer l Book Lover l Theatre and Gallery Stalker I Wannabe Beekeeper. Belinda has been a writer for as long as she can remember - even before completing degrees in Drama and Theatre Arts; and Journalism. After 6 years of working for the man, she decided to follow her passions to wherever they may lead her… which was her own interior decorating company called Tassels & Tigers Interiors. Here she hunts for, touches, photographs and buys beautiful things for fascinating people… and then writes about it. "Online Decor Consultations, Boxed Room Makeovers, Full Decorating Projects, Shopping Mornings" 071 895 2147


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