Isishweshwe is a distinctive printed cotton fabric from German design.
An Isishweshwe apron [faskoti] is an important part of a Xhosa woman’s wardrobe.
You first wear an Isishweshwe apron when you are a bride [umakoti].
As a married woman, you are supposed to have one or two or even more Isishweshwe outfits in case there is a traditional ceremony.
You wear Isishweshwe again when you are a new widow [umhlolokazi], but it is just for a short period; three to six months or maybe even a year. It depends on the family. The mourning Isishweshwe outfit is designed differently from the others. In mourning a woman covers her head, and her skirt, apron and a shawl are all made of the same Isishweshwe material.
When you are sixty years or more you can wear an Isishweshwe outfit as a newlywed again but you are not forced to. It is your choice.
Now fashion designers design beautiful Isishweshwe outfits that are attractive even to the youth.
Written by Novuyani Peyi.
Fun Facts! Each apron sold contains this story within it’s pocket. The apron ties are adjustable!
For more posts about the product made by the Art Project at the Keiskamma Trust, check out the following links!
Fabric Inspired by One of Our Own – https://keiskammacanada.com/fabric-inspired-by-one-of-our-own/
The Infamous Nguni Cows – https://keiskammacanada.com/nguni-cows/
The Keiskamma Trust Online Shop – http://keiskamma.com/product-category/art/