Cape Town Design Studio Tour

I was fortunate in having a friend to guide and drive me around Cape Town in search of local textiles. One inspiring stop was the factory for Carole Nevin Designs. Carole creates a range of wonderful hand printed or hand painted textiles.

I recently took a cruise starting at Ushuaia, Argentina and ending in Cape Town, South Africa. After 3 marvellous weeks at sea observing penguins, albatross and seals, it was good to get back to civilisation and FABRIC!!!

I was fortunate in having a friend to guide and drive me around Cape Town in search of local textiles. One inspiring stop was the factory for Carole Nevin Designs. Carole’s fabric is used in homewares i.e. tablecloths, placemats, aprons, shopping bags, cushion covers etc. It is all hand printed and some is also hand painted.

Here are just a few of the beautiful fabrics in the studio.

I was excited to be able to take a tour of the factory. It was very interesting, I had never previously been able to see how a commercial design studio operates.

Here is a run down of the different sections in the factory (not in any particular order):

The screen printing is undertaken on long tables. It is possible to print lengths of 40m per table.

large scale screen printing
Newly printed fabric is dried in a system of racks above the screen print tables.
fabric drying above
New screens are prepared in a special room.
where the screens are made
Screens are washed in this room using pressure hoses. Difficult not to make a mess!
screen washing section
This is the colour mixing room (looks like so much fun!!).
The paint mixing room
Hand painted pieces drying on racks.
Fabric drying rack
Pigment has been added as the base of this print and is then painted on by hand.
pigment then hand painted
Experimenting with colors and designs.
colour experimenting
These lovely ladies do all the sewing.
lovely sewing ladies
We were given a demonstration of the binding machine (I want one!).
binding machine
These ladies work on the finishing (ironing, snipping threads, folding):
the finishing ladies
Amelia, shown here, does all the prototype sewing. My friend Siska had made some flower buds using Carole’s fabrics. Siska gave Amelia a quick demonstration.
Amelia and Siska sewing
To complete our visit, Siska and I managed to do a bit of retail therapy in the storeroom.
retail therapy

Thank you to Carole and her team for welcoming us into their studio space. It was such a special opportunity for a quilter and textile junky like me.

If you are visiting Cape Town, I recommend having a look at the creations of Carole Nevin. There is a convenient shop in the V&A Waterfront. 

 

I will be working on sewing up a few projects with Carole’s fabrics. Watch my Instagram for progress!

Leslie

Posted by Leslie Edwards

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