In a modern world hand-made textiles bring a rare element of craftsmanship into our homes. They hint at other ways of life and offer the ultimate convergence of skill, colour, texture and luxury.
Coral (b. 1902 in Pretoria, South Africa) remembered a simple fabric she’d come across hand woven in handspun chalk (undyed) mohair and when she moved to Piggs Peak in Northern Swaziland she wanted to create the same cloth for curtaining a new home.
She had moved with her husband Bob who was involved in establishing the forestry industry in the 1940s. She had a loom and with the help of Sylvia Mantanga, a Xhosa women who had been trained in weaving at St Cuthbert’s Missionary in Tsolo, Transkei, she began weaving.
The resulting cloth was much admired and visitors began to place orders, and a business was unintentionally born.
Coral began experimenting with design, colour and textures and her curtaining fabric caught the attention of a renowned U.S. textile designer, Jack Lenor Larsen. The two collaborated on a collection and worked together for several years on commissions, and orders kept coming.
The business continues, some 75 years later, still producing hand spun mohair fabrics and carpets, along with other yarns, in the same way as they have always been made. Some vintage patterns are still woven and the fabric retains the feel and spirit of a past era.
Fabrics and carpets are all made to order and originate from the small studio in Piggs Peak.