African Jacquard Textiles

WORDS Amelia Brown

African Jacquard combines locally inspired designs and the traditional French jacquard weaving method to produce a beautiful range of 100% cotton textiles.

Ten years ago, French-born entrepreneur Christine Daron’s sister took her to the Tissage Moutet weaving mill in Orthez, France, where she discovered personalised tea towels. Fast-forward a decade and various experiments in weaving jacquard, and Christine can count Babylonstoren and Marble restaurant among her clients.

Her core range includes aprons, oven gloves, table runners, scatter cushions, bags and, of course, the classic jacquard tea towel. She is on a mission to elevate the humble kitchen cloth by means of striking designs to a high-quality product that champions local craft and employment.

It took Christine six months to develop the jacquard fabric with the right absorbency, softness, lightness and the signature reverse weave design. The motifs are inspired by her travels and by traditional fabric designs such as shweshwe and kuba cloth.

For bespoke projects, she spends time on site getting to know the colours, textures, logos and patterns to make a signature design. She works with an in-house designer to refine the motif, consults with the client and reviews samples, which are then rigorously washed and tested.

The precision and personalisation of African Jacquard is in evidence in a range of shopping bags and tea towels made for The Yard in Cape Town using artist Lucie de Moyencourt’s ink illustrations of the Silo District. “The possibilities are endless,” Christine says.

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