The Weaver’s Hut is situated in Howick and supports and promotes crafters from local communities. The Weaver’s Hut is a weaving project that was started in the 1980’s with the aim to provide skills and job opportunities for the local women in the impoverished rural area of Donnybrook. The weavers currently employed work on frame looms and produce quality rugs of international standards using a tapestry weave. Each rug is unique and usually has a truly African feel. The rugs are 100% pure wool – a blend of New Zealand, English and South African quality wools are spun to ensure a durable product. The fabrics are colour fast and therefore fully washable. The rugs can be custom-made for both local and international markets.
The shop, the Weaver’s Hut, is primarily an outlet for these rugs, but two other groups in Donnybrook also rely on the shop for income. ‘Design for Africa’ produces hand-painted cushions, cloth and wall hangings that are both original and of an excellent quality. Embroidered cushions with beads and appliqué are also sold in the shop.
A weaver is employed in the shop to demonstrate the craft, but a worthwhile trip is to the actual weaving factory in Donnybrook. Tours to Donnybrook from Howick can be arranged on request. It is a particularly interesting area to visit as it is Alan Paton country and there are many interesting places to stop and visit en-route such as a natural yellowwood forest. Here the locals still use the horse as their main form of transport and domestic livestock graze freely in the village. The Weaver’s Hut also conducts workshops to train people in the art of tapestry and cloth production.