During my time in Johannesburg as guest curator of the Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair I got to discover more wonderful made in Africa brands. One of those that caught my eye was a colourful collection of rugs by The Ninevites.
The Ninevites was founded in 2012 by Nkuli Mlangeni-Berg, a South African creative who draws inspiration from her heritage. Nkuli initially started the Ninevites as a hobby while working as a fashion stylist, and provided a way of exploring her ideas and a desire to collaborate with others.
Nkuli also wanted to use her creativity to address a lack of representation in the creative industries and textiles enabled her to do that. With every product created Nkuli seeks to tell a story, one of underrepresented voices, ancient traditions and modern interpretations, culture, heritage and exceptional artisanal skills.
Nkuli works with artisans in The Eastern Cape and in Lima, Peru to produce her designs. Every product is expertly handwoven from sustainable 100% South African mohair and Peruvian sheep’s wool. The artisans hand spin and use natural dyes to dye the raw fibres to create the brand’s distinctive rug designs.
The designs feature bold, geometric patterns that are inspired by the patterns found in South Africa’s basketry, pottery, murals and beading traditions, and given a modern twist.
In 2017 The Ninevites Sankara Rug, was voted the Design Indaba’s Most Beautiful Object in South Africa.
For further information about The Ninevites visit: https://theninevites.com
[Image credits: The images shown belong to The Ninevites. If downloaded and used elsewhere please credit accordingly.]