Fancy Stitch Group

The Fancy Stitch group is a self-help, income generation and skills development initiative amongst women living in the deep rural hamlet of Ingwavuma, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and a supplier of high quality, artistic greeting cards, picture frames and clothing.

Fancy Stitch started with 27 members in September 2001 and has now grown to include more than 400 members. The dedication, talent and social and emotional connectedness amongst the members is impressive. All these characteristics, combined with a dynamic vision for the future, makes this an exciting and inspirational development initiative.

Women of Fancy Stitch

Apart from high-quality artistic and individual products, the Fancy Stitch Group is about making an impact on the women who produce the cards and artwork. Of the 400 women, many are grannies taking care of orphans at their traditional homesteads, and all are in some way affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

“Beautiful Ingwavuma is a hard place to survive with no income. When times were hard I ploughed (hoed) the fields, carried water or chopped firewood for my neighbours. I volunteer as an adult education teacher at the one local High School. Being able to earn an income from my art is a high point in my live. Pure joy to see my own work being admired and it makes me feel special. ”  Thandeka, Fancy Stitch member