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Welcome to the Creative Hub Of the South Luangwa Valley
The Beating Heart Of Tribal Textiles
For visitors to South Luangwa, a stop at Tribal Textiles is an event in their safari calendar. It enables you to step back from watching the wild animals of the Luangwa and catch an insight into the community spirit of Mfuwe.
Already from the car park, you can hear the atmosphere bursting with the sound of radio and laughter, which is our distinctive trademark. Alongside our flagship store, the workshop is the culmination of our commitment to an open and transparent production.
Guided Production Tours
Guided by one of our artisans, you can walk through the space to experience the Tribal Textiles production process and see our talented team of starchers, painters and sewers performing their skilled work. You can also browse the Mango Tree Artisan Market, where local artisans are at work: weavers, wood carvers, metal workers…
Then you can finish your visit with a tour of our Shop to purchase a truly unique souvenir to take that all-important piece of your Zambian experience home with you. Our showroom is set up around a leafy courtyard where you can relax and enjoy food and drinks at the Courtyard Cafe.
Pop along to see the textiles being made and try it yourself on one of our Art Safaris!
Our Workshop is open Mondays to Fridays, from 7 am - 4.30 pm and Saturdays from 7 am - 12.30 am.
Our Shop is open to the public, 7 days a week from 7 am – 4.30 pm.
Art Safaris: take home a unique souvenir
Want to try a Safari with a difference? Come and enjoy Tribal Textiles’ fun and exclusive Art Safari.
Work side by side with our friendly team of artists amidst the buzz of our industrious outdoor workshop. Learn the unique art of hand painting and create your own masterpiece with a selection of rich, vibrant colours.
Groups and families welcome (Weekdays from April to November. Flexible start times - allow 2-3 hours). Please book ahead: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Half day (using pre-drawn stencils): $30 per person I Full day (creating your own design): $50 per person. $2 from each Art Safari is donated to the Malimba School Fund.
A Unique Hand-Made Process
1. First, Vailet will cut our 100% organic, GMO-free cotton into the dimensions of the finished product using scissors, a ruler and a very accurate eye!
2. Then, one of our starchers will mix the correct ratio of water and flour together to create the starch we use to draw our designs.
3. The cotton is soaked in water and laid out on the work bench where one of our starchers draws a pattern onto the fabric (a highly skilled technique taking years to perfect).
4. Whilst the textile is hung up to dry in the hot African sun, Richard - our Paint Mixer – mixes the colours by hand, using primary pigments and a base emulsion to match by eye to swatches created by our designer. We use water-based, non-hazardous and non-toxic paints sourced from South Africa that are safe for both people and the environment.
5. The textile is now ready to be brought to life by one of our skilled painters, balancing the colours on the product in a unique combination each time.
6. Products are then baked in an industrial oven at 155 degrees Celsius, which makes the textiles colour fast & fully washable.
7. The textile is given to Stella who scrapes off the softened starch, revealing the intricate design beneath. She washes it and hangs it up to dry in the African sun once more!
8. Finally, it is sewn into a finished product and voila, it’s complete and packed away for export or transferred to Tribal’s own shop.