SA’s next-gen textiles debut at NEXT21

Keen to discover the next generation of local textile designs? Look no further than NEXT21, the Craft and Design Institute’s (CDI) fourth annual trade exhibition of the hottest new export-ready South African designs. For 2021, NEXT features 7 outstanding textile producers who are launching new fabrics, homeware items and accessories as part of the exhibition, which sees a total of 24 local design houses put forward their best new ranges to the market via an online platform.

Over the last four years, NEXT has developed a sterling reputation as a go-to sourcing point for international buyers, exporters, retailers, interior designers and decorators. This year is no different! NEXT21 is made particularly exciting with the wide range of fresh textiles made by producers from across South Africa. Virtual visitors can expect to see the latest from Africa Ignite, Barrydale Hand Weavers, African Jacquard, Cape Alpaca Products, Cotton Tree, Amelia Jackson Industries and Chic Fusion.

Africa Ignite ignited local imaginations when they burst onto the scene with ultra-colourful, hand-embroidered products employing recycled maize bags as the base for dazzling geometric patterns. For NEXT21 the KwaZulu Natal-based award-winning rural development agency has launched a new range of scatter cushions in a radiant, trend-led palette that takes Africa Ignite’s reputation for vibrancy in a directional fashion.

Barrydale Hand Weavers continues a well-founded reputation for quality handwoven table linen, towels, cloths and throws in soft natural colours. Natty stripes add visual interest to certain products, while woven textures are the star of others in the new NEXT21 ranges. An ancient, traditional process is preserved in these modern “slow-craft” products.

True to its name, African Jacquard draws inspiration from traditional African fabrics, such as Bogolan and Kuba cloths, which it reinterprets into contemporary linen and cotton textiles that are wholly designed, woven and manufactured in Cape Town. NEXT21 sees African Jacquard present its new intricately woven Metallics Range inspired by African patterns and precious metals. Expect a
lusciously earthy palette of umber, maroon, burnt sienna and black. In addition, there is a new range of bright orange and red bed throws, inspired by Bogolan Mud Cloths, that was produced in collaboration with Michael Chandler of Chandler House.

Cape Alpaca has progressed its existing Aymara product ranges by incorporating new patterns and unexpected colourways, achieved via hand-painted yarn, into the mix. Based on a farm outside of Cape Town, the company makes soft, super-fine fabrics that are woven from 100% home-spun alpaca yarn – the luxurious fleece is sheered from a herd of alpaca that were imported from Chile.

A small Johannesburg-based business, Cotton Tree creates handmade contemporary cushions that focus on texture and original designs, guided by environmental kindness and community upliftment. For NEXT21, Cotton Tree has launched a new range comprising punch needle embroidered cushions emblazoned with geometric patterns in understated, neutral tones.

Established in 1989, Amelia Jackson Industries has been a stalwart producer of hand-loomed rugs for over 20 years. The NEXT21 range comprises monochromatic neutrals and ultra-chunky, textured weaves for bathmats and loose rugs.

Chic Fusion has put forward a new collection of fringed vessels and leaf-patterned cushions for its NEXT21 display. The company specializes in wool felt and natural fibres and its pieces are produced from Merino wool and Karakul sourced in South Africa. Founder and designer Razaan Jakoet operates from a studio in Woodstock, Cape Town where she trains her team of women in the
manufacture of felted homeware and fashion accessories.

All the wonderful new textile products on NEXT21 can be viewed online until 25 March 2022. The exhibition is free to view and consists of a 3D walk-through that will bring displayed products and producers to life with interactive, pop-up windows revealing informative videos and interviews and need-to-know facts. To view the array of products that will be launched on NEXT21, visit

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