Local textile industry needs support to be safe

In the past seven years, the South African textile, clothing, leather and footwear (TCLF) sector has experienced a resurgence, after almost being brought to its knees by an influx of cheap Chinese imports. The revival of the TCLF sector is directly linked to the introduction of the government’s Clothing & Textiles Competitiveness Programme (CTCP) in 2010, which has given local industry players a much-needed shot in the arm and laid out a platform from which to launch a competitive sector. This is assisted by the creation of an investor-friendly environment at local level, with supportive provincial and local governments. The concern, however, is that black investors (particularly women) continue to struggle for various reasons, primarily prejudiced by the view of an investor as foreign or white. For historical reasons a black player can mainly participate as a 100 percent-owned start-up, or empowerment partner in a non-black-owned enterprise.   From homeware to clothes, Fabric Bank offers bespoke services.   Participating in the TLCF sector requires not just capital, but requisite skills and research capability. This makes the entry level difficult and as such the uptake by black and women-owned companies remains low or insignificant. According to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), which oversees the CTCP, local manufacturers have received funding and grants aid amounting to R3.5 billion, saving more than 67000 jobs and creating an estimated 7000 new jobs. These funds have been spent on stabilising and modernising the TCLF sector, helping local players across the value chain to bring out new product designs, hardware and capital equipment that have enabled them to be competitive and profitable. The...

SA’s wool is cool again

There is hope for the troubled local textile industry as wool manufacturers experience a turn for the better. For nearly 20 years, traditional beer maker United National Breweries has cut a forlorn figure as the only industrial investor in Butterworth after the Eastern Cape town was deserted by more than 40 large-scale manufacturers in the mid-1990s. The town’s two-decade investment drought came to an end in February when the once-thriving industrial town welcomed a textiles manufacturer, raising hopes that the investment could help Butterworth reclaim its former glory. The wool processing factory, known as Ivili Loboya, is seen as a boon for thousands of wool sheep and goat farmers in the province, who will now have a new, reliable customer to sell their produce to. The plant will be the first commercial cashmere-processing enterprise in South Africa and will also source mohair, silk and cotton from farmers. It will then turn these into either scoured wool or high-end fabrics for the décor, upholstery, and fashion apparel markets in South Africa and Europe. There are 3 million sheep in the Eastern Cape with 19 000 small-scale wool farmers, who generate income that supports 100 000 family members. Former chairperson of the SA Post Office Vuyo Mahlati is the woman behind the wool processing factory. Mahlati and other investors have invested R30 million in the venture, which is 100% black owned. The majority of the shares in Ivili are held by women. The textiles manufacturer has a collaboration agreement with the CSIR, which acts as the factory’s research and incubation partner that provides expertise in natural-fibre processing for new and innovative...

Africa’s first cashmere producer launches debut collection

Africa’s first indigenous cashmere, produced from the local iMbuzi goat, was displayed as part of the Ivili Loboya launch at the Impact Hub in Rosebank, Johannesburg, from 23-25 February 2017. This yarn is part of a variety of fabrics, including blends with silk and merino wool, as the brand’s debut Dedani Collection. Design themes Eco dyes from natural sources, such as leaves, fruits, bark and flowers have been used to create the collection’s palette of warm, earthy tones. These include ochre, bone, nut, marula, wild peach and pitch. The Dedani Collection’s indigenous luxury fabrics range from hand spun and woven to hand knitted or machine-made, and are printed according to three design themes. • Under the Clan theme, the main designs are Totem, an abstract presentation of natural objects and animals that reference spiritual ancestral connections and Tyali, celebrating the Xhosa Makoti or bride and the fertility of the clan. • The Earth theme combines references to the dichotomy of drought (Mbalela) and waterfalls (Amanzi), evoking the farmer’s reality and climate change. • The Ethnic theme evokes and celebrates humanity’s common heritage through its interweaving geometrics and the cultural fusion of Ndebele and Xhosa traditional designs.  Reviving local textile industry Ivili Loboya, meaning ‘Wheel of Wool’, is a natural fibre (wool & cashmere) beneficiation enterprise, for woven and non-woven textile products, based at Ibika, near Butterworth in the rural Eastern Cape. “Dedani means ‘Get out of the way!’ because we intend to revive South Africa’s textile industry through local natural resources and create a niche for ourselves in the global luxury fabric market,” says Ivili Loboya owner, Dr Vuyo...

South Africa: italian designer first ever introduce cashmire in the Country

Cape Town – Italian ladies wear fashion designer Francesca Romana Perazzelli is in the process of introducing the Italian market to Africa‘s first ever indigenous cashmere designs through a partnership with South African textiles company Ivili Loboya. The South African company, based near Butterworth in the Eastern Cape province, is producing the cashmere from the soft inner hair of the local indigenous iMbuzi goat. The yarn is showcased in a variety of fabrics, including blends with silk, mohare and merino wool, in Ivili Loboya’s debut Dedani Collection, launched last month. “Dedani means ‘Get out of the way!’ because we intend to revive South Africa’s textile industry, using local natural fibres and grabbing a niche for ourselves in the global luxury fabric market,” Ivili Loboya’s owner Dr Vuyo Mahlati said. “We see a great future for our pioneering fabrics as there has been significant pre-launch interest, both nationally and internationally. “Our debut collection reflects our pride in this luxury indigenous product. Its three design ranges bring the timeless and traditional symbols into a modern world, referencing humanity’s common heritage, traditions and place within nature. This is complemented by use of eco-friendly dyes from natural sources. Mahlati said Ivili Loboya, a natural fibre (wool and cashmere) beneficiation enterprise for woven and non-woven textile products, is Africa’s first and only commercial cashmere production facility. “Originally, the term cashmere was applied only to goat hair from the Kashmir region of the Indian subcontinent, but usage has since broadened to all goat hair that is similarly fine and soft. Cashmere fibres are renowned for their soft handle, ultra-lightweight durability and intense thermal properties compared to...