As far as is possible all our products are hand-made, and we are committed to using locally produced materials. The fabric of the Mielie range is reclaimed, and our finishes (cotton thread, needles, genuine leather handles etc) are locally produced. Mielie strips - from which our bags and other products are woven - are a byproduct from cotton mills. Once a week we buy them by the kilogram from local factories. Because the shades vary every week and seasonally - like a box of chocolates, we never know quite what we will get. Our solution is to work with broad colourways - i.e. lagoon = dark blue to aqua, emerald to bottle green. This guarantees every bag is unique!
When woven Hessians return to the loft, they are carefully checked for quality and then made up by our team of skilled 'finishers'. After booking in work, weavers are issued with their next lot of bags and the cycle begins again… Before being sent out into the world, every Mielie product is labeled with the name of the weaver who made it - creating the opportunity for a connection between buyer and maker.(click here for more information)
Mielie products are born on Thursdays, in our loft in Newlands. Each week, the weavers gather for Sebenza day and are issued with blank Hessians and a list of designs that need to be completed. Using hand-select coloured Mielie strips, they interpret the designs, weave the orders at home - and then bring them back completed the following Thursday for quality checking and finishing.