Living in Dakar, Senegal they were exposed to the beauty of many of West Africa’s traditional textiles. “We fell in love with the colorful variety of fabric textures and prints, but were drawn most of all to the richness of the traditionally handwoven pagne tissé, a fabric woven by the Manjac tribes of Southern Senegal and Northern Guinea,” they say of the textile that makes up the largest part of their collection. Setting out to create a range of décor and accessories that celebrates West African craft, they began working with a community of craftspeople in Dakar.
With Hourria based in Dakar and Nawal now in Johannesburg, they currently support a core team of seven artisans, specialising in different crafts (weaving, leatherwork, woodwork, beading and tailoring), who produce the cushions, table linen, throws, bags and small furniture pieces that make up the Tisserand Dakar range.
What makes their products unique is the attention to detail and quality of raw materials used. Exceptional quality takes time, and that, they dedicate to each and every item. “It takes roughly two days to set up the loom and connect hundreds of threads to make up the designs, only on the third day can the weaver start producing his delicate fabric. Producing pagne tissé is labour intensive. Requiring two people to do the actual weaving, the fabric is woven at a rate of three to five metres a day for a very good weaver,” they explain.