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Shweshwe fabric for the win!

As you might have guessed from our Facebook and Instagram posts, at Jum Designs we love shweshwe fabric! It’s just another little thing that makes us proudly South African.

The popularity of shweshwe extends far beyond the boundaries of South Africa. Shweshwe bags and Christmas stockings make ideal gifts for friends and family around the world. Its an evocative fabric that lends any product that ‘little something extra special.’ In short, there’s nothing else quite like it.

It can be used to create bags in an enormous range of styles, for all ages, all tastes, and all occasions.

Shweshwe: lovely to say, lovely to wear

Shweshwe is a pure cotton fabric that hails from South Africa. Its history stretches waaaay back (and afar), but that’s beyond the scope of this post. We’re simply interested in its beauty today. And what we can make with it!

Quality, quality, quality

Like so many great things, there are unfortunately inferior imitations. We have learnt to be super careful when selecting our fabrics – and only source top quality pure cotton shweshwe for our products.

For most people, the word ‘shweshwe’ conjures up images of traditional white on indigo prints. This is probably because this was the very first colour in which shweshwe was produced. Deep red and chocolate brown fabrics were soon to follow. Those three colours are the most traditional shades.

Shweshwe goes modern

Luckily for us, shweshwe fabric is now available in all sorts of bright vibrant colours. Prints vary from simple geometric shapes to beautiful flowers and elaborate swirls.

So that’s what you can expect when you buy from Jum Designs: lots of fun, style, colour, and attention to detail.

We love the quality. We love the colours and prints. A lot of fun is had choosing, mixing, and matching the endless shweshwe options.

Just what exactly is in that nappy bag?!?!

I honestly thought that I was going to pull a muscle. Seriously. I had to hoist my son’s nappy bag onto my shoulder. It felt like I was lugging around a bag of stones.

My nappy bag weighed a ton!

I sorted through the contents. It was like a well-thumbed copy of Nappy Bags for D- Mummies:

  • A wet bag containing cloth nappies, organic wetwipes, organic bum cream, tissues, and a changing mat. And a few disposable nappies and plastic nappy bags ‘just in case’.
  • a spare tracksuit ‘just in case’
  • organic sunscreen ‘just in case’
  • a few toys that fall under the doesn’t-matter-if-he-loses-them category ‘just in case’
  • a dummy
  • a container of peanut butter ‘just in case’ he wouldn’t take the dummy for his nap
  • water, tea, and snacks
  • two small towels ‘just in case’
  • Two entire pockets that I had completely forgotten about, containing more tissues, more wetwipes, more snacks, snacks for me, a never-used dummy sterilizer spray, a plastic spoon, and a homeopathic remedy for stings.
  • a painted rock

There was literally a rock in my nappy bag.

As a first time mum I had enthusiastically enrolled my unsuspecting child in a weekly mom and kiddie class. You know, the kind where toddlers paint rocks. There was literally a rock in one of the forgotten pockets in the nappy bag. It was a rocking combination (see what I did there?) of red and blue paint, silver glitter, and googly eyes. After removing said item, I thought my shoulder was out of danger. I was wrong.

My nappy bag was going to send me to physio

Having a wonky spine (also known as scoliosis) means that I have long been aware of the issues that arise from wearing a heavy bag over one shoulder. Of course, this was revealed to me at the precise moment when it was super cool to sling your school bag over one shoulder. In fact, when I went to high school we had regulation bags and they didn’t even bother to make a backpack. Because everyone (except wonky me) wore bags over one shoulder. But I digress…

I had been given a backpack style nappy bag. But I’m also into babywearing, and my son prefers to be worn on my back. And I hate having to constantly switch between nappy bags. Funnily enough, the answer came in the form of a client’s request: a convertible nappy bag.

Why hadn’t I thought of a convertible nappy bag?!

Never mind. The concept may not be mine, but our design is. I just need to keep mine free of rocks.

Ordering a custom bag? Read this first.

Are you considering ordering a custom bag? There are a few things that you should bear in mind.

First of all, let’s get rid of a common misconception. The word ‘bespoke’ is bandied about these days as though it is synonymous with elitism. That is simply just not the case. Well, it’s not the case anymore, at least.

Ordering a custom bag is now affordable

The whole concept behind Jum Designs is to create affordable custom bags that are handcrafted from quality materials. We just want you to be able to have exactly the bag you want.

Keep this in mind when ordering a custom bag:

Each bag is bespoke – it is specifically made for you. So you need to ensure that what you order is exactly what you want. There are a few considerations…

Type: this is pretty straightforward. Are you looking for a handbag? Reversible tote? Clutch? Once you know what type of bag you want, it’s time to talk style.

Style: have a look through our product pages to see the various styles we offer. The one that grabs your attention? That’s the one for you! (Want something else? Send us a message and we’ll chat!)

Now it’s time for the really fun stuff…

Fabrics: look through our fabric library to see which type of fabrics appeal to you the most. Vinyl, shweshwe, cotton, twill, there are quite a few to choose from. Not to mention colours and prints. If you need help, give us a shout and we’ll be happy to advise you. (Of course, there is always the option of sourcing something specifically for you, if you’d prefer.)

Dimensions: size counts. Look carefully at the dimensions listed under the product description. Think about how much of your family’s rubbish many items you carry around in your bag.

When ordering a custom bag, make sure you pick one that meets your needs.

Specific requirements: what exactly will you be using the bag for? If you plan on loading it with heavy contents, please let us know so that we can add extra reinforcement.

For lots of great inspiration, keep an eye on our Facebook page and Instagram account for the pics of our latest products!

Custom bags are our jam.

One day a mum and her daughter got chatting. They wanted to create quality custom bags in South Africa. Good quality, affordable custom bags. And so the idea behind Jum Designs was borne.

It is now a few months since that discussion. We (Amanda and Emma) are gradually defining and refining our business as we enjoy all that creative freedom has to offer.

We are creatives, both having studied and taught art and design. We love shopping for fabric. We love tea. We love designing bags. We love wine and dessert. We love art. Did we mention that we love dessert? We love having a good belly-aching laugh while we create and sew together.

And who doesn’t love shweshwe bags?!

Okay, to be sure, there are a few of you out there who aren’t shweshwe fabric fans. And that’s okay; we still love you. But most of you, like us, love the colours and prints of traditional African shweshwe fabric. So you will see a lot of shweshwe bags on our Facebook and Instagram accounts. But that’s definitely not all we do.

We also love how many of you love our custom bags!

If we have learnt anything over the past few months, it’s that you love custom handbags! Of course, we do offer a range of bags, from reversible totes to toddler backpacks. But there’s that little bit of something extra special when it comes to a woman’s handbag. In a funny way, it represents who you are.

Because that’s the whole point of custom bags

At Jum Designs we provide you with the opportunity to choose your preferred style of bag and the colours, prints, and fabrics that you prefer. That’s pretty awesome! (If we say so ourselves.)

Where do you start? Have a look at our product range and available fabrics… If you see something you like, let us know. Have something else in mind? Send us a message and we’ll do our utmost to create your ideal custom bag. Because that’s what we do.

We can’t wait to make your dream bag! xxx