Thank you Frodsham for making our first World Textile Day North a smash success

Textile lovers in the north of England finally have their own World Textile Day, thanks to the hospitality extended last Saturday 11 Apr by a great textile venue - the Frodsham Community Centre.

Our free exhibtion of world textiles kept visitors interested all day. Not forgetting, of course, the tempting opportunities to buy fantastic textiles and artefacts collected around the world by our team of world textile experts.

Our new talks format - six entertaining 'Textile Adventures' about the trials and tribulations of finding and buying textiles in far flung locales kept people awake and laughing.

Frodsham Patchwork Group contributed hugely to the day's success, not least through their tireless promotion. And let's not forget their wonderful home-baked cakes and goodies.

More pictures:

Frodsham Commnity Centre welcomes our first
World Textile Day in the north of England

Scarecrow Open Weekend at The African Fabric Shop

The coming bank holiday weekend in the UK is a special one in our village of Meltham in the Yorkshire Pennines.

To celebrate, we'll have our shop doors open all weekend.

The highlight, of course, will be our African Flower Power Scarecrow.

Drop by on Saturday 2 May and help us out by making a free flower for our scarecrow.

On Sunday 3 May Meltham will be humming as the Tour de Yorkshire bicycle race roars past our shop.

Finallly, on Monday 4 May as you tour the village discovering all the scarecrows, you can stop by the shop to see our African Flower Power Scarecrow.

We'll also be dressing the front window of our excellent Café 33 in the village centre. Why not drop in for a filling pork pie and mushy peas or a cappucino?

View: Open Days and Workshop schedule 2015

NEW Kuba cloths from the Congo

Kuba is one of the truly unique and astounding African textile traditions.

These cloths are hand-woven using raffia palm in the Congo.

They demonstrate a variety of textile techniques, such as: patchwork, appliqué, embroidery and embellishment.


View and buy: Kuba Cloth

NEW Korhogo cloths from Côte d'Ivoire

On our recent trip to West Africa we were luck enough to find some fantastic Korghogo cloths in a variety of sizes.

Some pieces are of the traditional black on white designs, while others incorporate terracotta and ochre as well.

Most pieces are either 130 wide x 50 cm high or 50 wide x 130 cm high.

One piece is very large - a wopping 250 x 200 cm - which is very rare indeed!

View and buy: Korhogo cloths from Côte d'Ivoire

Click to order Korhogo cloth
View and buy the BIG ONE: Korhogo cloth WKH104

View and buy: Korhogo cloth WKH106

Click to order Korhogo cloth

View and buy: Korhogo cloth WKH113

Click to order Korhogo cloth

Back from Ghana with great new fabrics, beads and fair trade baskets

Our January trip to Ghana this year was a smashing success.

In addition to great fabrics, we're back with an astounding array of our fair trade Bolga baskets to tempt you.

Great colours and great choice!

They've been quite literally flying off the stand at our World Textile Days and also off the website.

All of which means Bob is run-ragged shaping and photographing baskets so that you have plenty of choice. Whew!

Oval Shopping Baskets

Nyariga Shopping Baskets

Pot Baskets

Round Market Baskets - Large/Medium

Round Market Baskets - Small

Aniahmame Ahugre at work:
Another beautiful pot basket nears completion

NEW vintage Mossi indigo cloths: incroyable!

These vintage indigo cloths come from the Mossi people of Burkina Faso.

Approximately 25 years old: each cloth is a unique piece of African textile heritage.

View and buy: Vintage Mossi indigo cloths

Click to order

Click to order

NEW hand-dyed African batiks:
Why not indulge?

Our latest batch of Ghaniaian hand-dyed batiks is wonderful - especially the pure variety of colours and patterns.

Thanks to Esther, Grace and Mercy for this batch of inspiration and pure irresistable indulgence!

View and buy: African batik fabrics

NEW jewellery kits
by Isobel Holland

Isobel does some amazingly creative work using our array of African beads, which are all handmade from recycled materials.

Here we have her Somanya Bracelet Kit, which highlights recycled glass beads made by our friend Oklah Tetteh in Koforidua, Ghana.

Oklah made these particular beads in January from the empty Bombay Sapphire gin bottles that we took him in our luggage!

'And where did these empty gin bottles come from,' you might ask.

From our customers, of course!

View and buy: Isobel's Jewellery Kits

Somanya Bracelet Kit
© Isobel Holland
Why not add a matching necklace as well?

NEW Duotone wax and Da Viva fabrics

Also just unpacked and now online: our latest selection of Da Viva and Duotone fabrics, also from Ghana.


View and buy: Da Viva African prints

View and buy: Duotone wax prints

NEW mud cloth from Mali

With the ongoing unsettled situation in Mali, genuine mud cloth - especially good quality mud cloth - is getting harder and harder to find.

We're just back from West Africa with a great new selection, including some very unusual designs.

View and buy: Mud cloth from Mali

Click to order

Click to order

Workshops at The African Fabric Shop

Indigo Sampler Workshop with Magie Relph - NEW date added

Thu 25 Jun 2015, 1.30 - 4 pm : Places available, book now

Thu 19 Mar 2015, 1.30 - 4 pm : Workshop full

African weavers and dyers - especially in West Africa - are known for their prodigious use if indigo, the 'King of Colours'.

Why not use some of these inspiring textiles to make a sampler or small wallhanging?

Workshop includes:

  • Expert background information tuition by Magie Relph
  • Enough materials to make a small sampler or wallhanging
  • Note: this is a hand-sewing workshop

Venue: The African Fabric Shop
The Old Post Office, 24-26 Holmfirth Road, Meltham, Holmfirth, HD9 4ER

Cost: £20 per person

Or call: 01484 850188

Indigo sampler © Magie Relph

Janice Gunner Workshop: To Boldly Go

Tue 28 Apr 2015, 10 - 4 pm

Have you ever wondered what to do with all those big, bold prints that you just couldn't resist adding to your stash? The ones that just literally called out to you, 'Buy me, buy me!'

Then this is the workshop for you because Janice will show you just what to do with them.

You'll explore a variety of techniques including:

  • Free form piecing
  • Fussy cutting
  • Appliqué
  • And more!

Venue: The African Fabric Shop
The Old Post Office, 24-26 Holmfirth Road, Meltham, Holmfirth, HD9 4ER

Cost: £45 per person

Or call: 01484 850188

To Boldly Go sampler
© Janice Gunner

NEW: African Fabric Shop
Gift Vouchers

Prompted by a special request we received from a loyal customer at our recent, fantastic World Textile Day in Bristol, we have added something new to tempt you!

Just in time for Christmas

Now you can buy African Fabric Shop Gift Vouchers right here on the website. And it's really easy!

  • Vouchers have a value of £10, £20 or £50 and are valid for one year.
  • Add one or more gift vouchers to your secure online Shopping Basket.
  • Check out and pay for your order as normal.
  • We'll send you your printed vouchers in a nice, Africa-themed gift card - blank, of course, so you can write your own greeting.
  • Your lucky recipient can redeem her vouchers against any African Fabric Shop website purchase.
  • When ordering, just type in your unique code and your voucher value will be subtracted from your order total.

£10 Gift Voucher

£20 Gift Voucher

£50 Gift Voucher

You can change the quantity when you check out.

Postmaster's Choice Adventure Packs
of colourful African fabrics

When our local postmaster James took up patchwork, he asked us for a random selection of our brightest 'rainbow of colours'.
His first quilt was a great success and presto:
our Postmaster's Choice Adventure Pack was born.

View and buy: Postmaster's Choice fabrics

Exclusive African Fabric Shop discount price

African Wax Print: A Textile Journey

African wax print holds a very special place in Magie's heart. When she first ventured into the chaos of an African market in 1984, African wax print fabric just grabbed her. It hasn't let go since.

Not only does Magie use African wax print fabric in her work as a textile artist, she has done extensive research into its history, manufacture, design, use and importance as an icon of African style.

So here we have it: the only book devoted exclusively to African wax print fabric!

Tick box to select item. You can change the quantity after clicking "Add to Basket"

Book only, unsigned £10.00

Why not have your book signed and gift wrapped in a fat quarter of colourful African wax print fabric?

Signed copy - gift wrapped in African wax print fabric: £12.00

I love this book. It is interesting, informative, funny, thought provoking. The Journal for Weavers, Spinners and Dyers. Spring 2011.

Magie and Bob took me on a magical journey to Africa through not only their words, but the images and inspirational textile art that illustrate their story. A fabric feast to make your mouth water. Janice Gunner, stitched textile artist and author of Shibori for Textile Artists.

Only £10.00

Annie Marsters

Isipathi Zwamanzi

'Safe water saves lives': and international aid organisation Just a Drop is providing just that across Africa and the developing world.

In support of a water project in rural Kenya, Annie Marsters created Isipathi Zwamanzi - 'The Water Carrier'.

She used polymers to harden and sculpt our Amafu fabrics and dress her figure of a woman carrying water. Wonderful!

Even more wonderful, her piece raised £1,000 at auction which went directly to the Kenya water project. Well done, Annie!

View: Amafu fabrics from South Africa.

Click to enlarge

Isipathi Zwamanzi
© Annie Marsters

Leila Arakji

Bark cloth pouch

Leila Arakji of Lilac Tree Crafts has been experimenting recently with our unique and versatile bark cloth from Uganda.

Here's her first prototype design for a bark cloth pouch. Isn't it fantastic?

View: Bark Cloth from Uganda.

Click to enlarge

Bark cloth pouch
© Leila Arakji

Brigitte Ascher

African batik coat

When ever we're in Africa we visit our tailors and have new outfits made, especially from hand-dyed African batiks. They wash and wash and last and last.

Brigitte Ascher had the same idea and created this wonderful coat using fabrics dyed by Grace Adover in Accra and Nene Jallow in The Gambia.

Superb, Brigitte.

View: Hand-dyed African batik

Click to enlarge

African batik coat
© Brigitte Ascher

Now on YouTube: How to reshape a Bolga basket

When we post out our fantastic made in Ghana fair trade Bolga baskets, we send them flattened and wrapped in bubble wrap: 'Flat as a hat,' in Bob's words.

Our baskets are so well made that reshaping them to perfection is easy and only takes a few minutes.

To show you how, Bob has just published on You Tube a short video: How to reshape a Bolga basket.

View: Bolga Fair Trade Baskets

The African Fabric Shop Supports the Dream Children's Home in Kenya

Africa is very important to us and we travel there as often as we can to source new fabrics, beads and baskets. In addition to supporting small-scale craft producers, we try to give a bit more back to Africa by donating to small African charities.

On Magie's latest trip to Kenya she visited the Dream Children's Home in the Ngong Hills near Nairobi. This inspiring project provides shelter, food, clothing, medical care, counselling, education and hope for needy orphans who have nowhere else to turn.

We are now supporting the Dream Children's Home directly through our own modest donation programme. For every sale of our Safari and Skin Print fabrics and Safari Print Adventrue Packs, we donate a percentage to this very worthy cause.

Find our more:

And donate directly:

Using African Fabrics

What can you do with African fabrics?

Answer: Visit our customer gallery, aptly called Using African Fabrics.

From quilts to wallhangings. From bags to clothing. You're sure to be inspired by what our innovative and creative customers have been working on.