Vivez Bien * Live Well

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Fabulous Fabrics

There is a Cape Town based company called African Sketchbook that has a very innovative approach to fabric design that I thought you might enjoy hearing about.

This is their approach...

" Imagine that instead of choosing fabrics to fit your design, you were able to use fabrics born from the design itself.

In Cape Town there is a place where fabric is considered the focal point of décor and where stories are revealed with each new fabric design and production."   (

In 2003 a fabric designer and a consumer marketer came together and recognised the enduring value of custom design created by hand. Since then they have developed a team of highly skilled painters who do everything by hand. 

But what sets them apart is not simply their hand work, but their entire approach to fabric design. Each fabric design job starts with two things: a story and a colour palette, two building blocks of great design.

One of their projects was the Cape Grace hotel which is based in the Waterfront which is a very popular tourist destination for travellers from all over the world. They use the fabrics to feature various aspects of South Africa's history and attractions  from landscape to fauna and flora to architecture.


Another project they have worked on is the Hotel Chateau Sallandrouze – a luxury retreat deep in the French countryside, resting in the historical village of Aubusson, surrounded by the green hills and bubbling rivers of the Limousin, in the heart of France. This former home of a legendary tapestry family has now been transformed into a beautiful boutique hotel. During the renovation, they came across original ownership documents, providing wonderful inspiration to create fabric that tells the chateau’s rich history.


I hope you enjoyed this little story about some wonderful South African talent and innovation.

Till next time

Sharon x



  1. Oh its stunning Sharon and some of my favourite fabrics. I love script on fabric. Very talented company.
    Have a great week


  2. Love the drapes with the script on them! Gorgeous!!

  3. OMG Sharon the fabrics and the pictures are absolutely GORGEOUS!! Hope you had a wonderful weekend, Martina

  4. Wow! I'm in awe! Writing and script on fabric makes me happy!

    Ciao Bella!


  5. Wow Sharon, what an amazing company and talented painters. I adore the fabric with the buidings on it, and love anything with lettering or script. Thankyou so much for bringing this to our attention. Have a wonderful week, love Linda x

  6. They are certainly a very talented team. Love all the scripted ones the best. Great post! Leahxx

  7. oh my goodness!! I think I found my future drapes and upholstery fabric!!
    Thanks for the link!!

  8. Oh my gosh ...
    never see fabarics beautiful like these ...
    Fantastic pictures al always!
    I want the same fabric, where I can buy all?
    Bisou, Babi

  9. Oh my!!!!! These are too sublime!!!! The calligraphy linens are my favourite!!!! Do they have an outlet in England!!!!!!

  10. Sharon, what beautiful fabrics. Each are a work of art. A great way to add character to each room.

  11. them all! Thank you so much for sharing. Fabulous ideas!
    Have a wonderful day! Kerry

  12. Wow...these are amazing. I love the third and fourth images with the wonderful colors and detailing!!

  13. Sharon this is GORGEOUS OMG !!!!!! I want these curtains! I love that first image! Unbelievable!
    I have gone through this post more than once...I am drooling here lol !!

    Pamela xo

  14. Script fabric is awesome, thank you for the inspiration, now I know how to reupholster my french chair.
    Have a lovely first day of summer!
    XXX Ido

  15. These are incredible!! There is not one I do not pretty..and so different. The detailing is truly gorgeous!

  16. Wow! It is a brilliant idea, each style is unique and can be personal. Love those fabrics ♥