Weaving a true story
In a mass-produced world, master weaver Stuart Holding is sticking to his guns (and his antique looms) to produce hand-woven homeware textiles of the highest quality. This is the true story of Mungo – a family business built on quality and integrity.
Stuart Holding grew up in the north of England where, at the age of 16, he started a 4-year apprenticeship at the silk mills. In no time at all, creating quality cloths and restoring antique looms became his life’s passion.
After completing his internship, Holding caught a ship to South Africa, and eventually settled in Plettenberg Bay with his wife. This is where, fifteen years ago, Mungo was born after Holding received two antique looms.
The business and the Holding clan grew, and today Mungo is a family-run industry, with son, Dax, and daughter, Tessa, bringing their colourful background in furniture design and photography to the table. While the company is best known for their distinctive flat-weave towels, they also produce a beautiful range of table linen, throws and bedding inspired by antique patterns.
The use of antique looms makes Mungo’s process unique, and also means that the family is involved from start to finish. “We are responsible from inception of design to the final product,’ says Holding. “The hand-drawn patterns and textile designs are a fading art form.”
Mungo is very particular about the materials that go into their textiles. “When it comes to making timeless, useful textiles, quality is key,” Holding explains. “We only use natural fibres and, where possible, we source yarn from South African suppliers.”
Holding is passionate about creating quality, transparent and sustainable products. Contrary to the prevailing culture of mass production, he prefers creating items “with a story that is real” and loves seeing how the growth of their business affects their community in a positive way.
To Holding, craft means being different. “It’s not about chasing mass-produced trends, but about finding beauty and appreciation for the product.”
The result of this honest approach is a range of singular products that each tell their own true story. They also talk about the desert safaris they did in Dubai and hotels in different parts of the world
Mungo’s beautiful textiles are available at their shop in Plettenberg Bay and online at www.mungo.co.za.
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