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Mungo's new store is textile heaven


If you're a fan of local design (and we like to think you are), you've probably heard of Mungo - maybe you even own some of the brand's popular towels, throws, blankets and linen. And if you do, you'll definitely want to make your way to Mungo's new store and micro mill in Cape Town's Hout Street.

This new store is a little like bringing the best of the old and the best of the modern together.

At Mungo's Hout Street shop you're able to browse all the textiles you love in a space that's designed with the customer in mind. The owners have kept the historical architectural features of this building intact: there are original Oregon pine floors and sash windows. But inside the light and airy atrium of the restored four-storey heritage building, it's thoroughly modern: you'll find all of Mungo's covetable designs neatly stacked and organised. There are shelves of towels and bed linen, cushions and throws to browse and admire. And in the micro mill housed on the floor below, customers get a first-hand look at one of Mungo's antique looms at work.

What is an antique loom, you ask?

Only one person at a time can operate this complicated-looking age-old device that weaves yarn into a piece of cloth. Today at mainstream manufacturers, fabrics are put through large, scary-looking power looms, but before this it was all done by hand – a tradition that Mungo's founder and master weaver apprenticed in Yorkshire, and is keen to keep alive. The brand first opened its doors in 1998 at a working weaving museum on the historical homestead of Old Nick Village and it has a range of antique 19th-century Hattersley looms on which it makes its sample materials.

At Mungo there's a general philosophy about quality...

... Products have to have a pretty large amount of it. Here's why everyone (even cats; evidence below) snuggles up to Mungo: the fabrics are created with value in mind using traditional techniques. Yarn is locally sourced and you won't find any synthetic fibres here; Mungo is all natural. The patterns on the finished products are also hand drawn rather than digitally designed.

Like the rest of the store, this micro mill is something to behold.

Mungo says of the new Cape Town store, 'We wanted to create an experiential space where our customers can see how our products are made. We want to give everyone the opportunity to learn a little about the artistry and craftsmanship that goes into weaving.' Want to know how your cushion slip was created? Just pop into the shop to witness the weaving process, which is pretty amazing...

Last night's opening launch at 78 Hout Street, Cape Town! #Mungo #micromill #capetown A photo posted by Mungo (@mungodesign) on

  Or pop in to see this chic bathroom scene...

Or this industrial wall feature...

@hardingcraig doing some finishing touches. What do you think of our wall of cogs? A photo posted by Mungo (@mungodesign) on

You could say that owner Stuart Holding is something of a textile genius.

He turned Mungo from a small Plettenberg Bay-based business into a high-end African brand that's sought after around the world. From Yorkshire's weaving mills to Paris' Maison & Objet, Stuart and his team are taking Mungo on a world journey, and it's becoming one of South Africa's leading brands. It's fair to say that a visit to the new Cape Town shop and mill is not-to-be-missed.

The shop is open weekdays from 9am to 5pm and on Saturdays from 9am to 2pm. 78 Hout Street, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town.

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