Making lingerie in South Africa
I have just done a Google search for "making lingerie South Africa" and "lingerie South Africa patterns" and not surprisingly these resulted only in a list of lingerie shops and industrial pattern cutting services in South Africa. I am sure that I am not alone - out there other lingeriecrafters are making bras, panties, camisoles, corsets and a host of other unmentionables. I know this because I recently found a South African mail-order supplier of fabrics, notions and patterns - and underwires!
Some months ago, desperate for new underwires (yes, I have been re-using my old ones until they got too bent) I did web searches for all the combinations of bra, bramaking, supplies, suppliers, underwires, and South Africa, but couldn't find a single local supplier. My conclusion was that bras are no longer manufactured in South Africa - they must all be imported from China these days. Eventually I decided to buy online from Elingeria in Germany. The service was quick and friendly. Just expensive, considering the Rand-Euro exchange rate! I ordered two pairs of underwires and a few metres of underwire channeling, but these have long since been used (two of the bras had to go straight to the rubbish bin because I cut them too small, but that's another story).
Then I joined the Sewing Lingerie Yahoo group, and one day, while reading a message about various bra patterns, saw the name Marinique - and a .co.za address! Within a minute I had visited their website - www.marinique.co.za - and written an email to request a price list.
I recently ordered fabric and notions from them and am happy to report that the quality is good. I especially like the underwire channeling. It's soft, sews on easily and doesn't make an uncomfortable ridge. I plan to buy more lycra in pretty colours (I bought beige the first time because it's practical and doesn't show under white t-shirts) as soon as I've used up this lot. For someone who has had to dig for lingerie materials in local fabric shops where no one knows what underwire channeling is and bra straps are those little see-through elastic things, Marinique is heaven. Goodness, you can even get all the rings, sliders, lining, and hooks and eyes in the same colour! Ja, party van ons bly in die bundu hier!