Thursday, December 8, 2011

Fundudzi Handmade Accessories Celebrate African Textiles and Cultural Preservation

I love the spirit of these accordian-style, handcrafted textiles accessories by Fundudzi designer Craig Jacobs and his team of talented local artisans in South Africa. This award winning designer uses re-inforced, laser cut traditional print fabrics to create one of a kind pieces for wearing as necklaces, bracelets, or cuffs. 

Fundudzi is now available online at JP Selects, and with an outstanding track record at South African Fashion Week and UN climate change events and sustainable fashion exhibitions, this vibrant and environmentally aware label is all about fusing traditional crafting methods with both cultural and ecological preservation measures. Other Fundudzi designs include the use of gorgeous colorful 'Venda' fabrics, sourced from the Limpopo Region where sacred Lake Fundudzi is located. The South African Government is currently reviewing the possibilities for making Lake Fundudzi a World Heritage Site. Craig Jacobs shared the following with us regarding this special fabric from the region: 

Venda cloth (image via Zoe Ann)

"A traditional print called 'seshweshwe' was quite ubiquitous in the late 1990's, and as a design writer then, I started investigating other prints and came up with the Venda print, which I felt was unexplored in our local design vernacular. I wanted to subsequently create a label which straddles traditional techniques and fabrications with a modern twist and fell in love with the Venda cloth and started researching the culture."

Jacket cover of New African Fashion by Helen Jennings. 

With the release of Helen Jennings' book New African Fashion, it is increasingly apparent that African textiles are an intrinsic part of our richly diverse global lexicon and need no longer be viewed as a regional phenomenon or subject to clichés or fashion stereotypes. Hopefully new fashion labels like Fundudzi will continue to help to redefine these style expressions and the application of new design methods.

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