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 address! Within a minute I had visited their website - - 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!



  1. liana said

    Tina ek het gewonder is jy afrikaans of nie?
    i just started a lingerie course in Hillcrest and is extremely happy to (at last) learn how to make my own goodies. always was a problem to find something that fits. reading all your info gives me hope.

    Tina said

    Hi Liana! Wonderlik om te sien iemand in Suid-Afrika lees my blog! Hillcrest in KZN?

    Britt said

    Hi Tina
    Wonder of jy kan se waar kan ek patroon kry vir "stepin"?
    Dankie en groete
    Britt (Vrystaat)

    Tina said

    Hi Britt

    Kyk op marinique se website op hulle patrone bladsy

    Is die patroon vir "Bum & Leg Firmer" wat jy soek? Dit het 'n "tummy control panel" voor en langer pype as boxershorts. Hulle pryse is baie billik. Die maklikste manier om uit te vind is om hulle te bel.

    Ek hoop jy kom reg!

    Britt said

    Thanks Tina, will try there.

    Grace International said

    Our partner a Top European manufacturer of swim suits and traditional cotton underwear favorites, fun fashion underwear and new underwear styles; underwear for children, men and women offering a wide range products including a variety of ladies lingerie, outerwear and sleepwear, active men’s boxers, briefs and many more... quality products seeks distributors in Africa .

    We are already spreading to some African countries and hence look to expand to West African countries They are looking for Interested distributors to sell their branded products in South Africa


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    Anonymous said

    Hi, Would any of you mind sharing the details of the institutes that offer underwear courses?
    I have alot of trouble finding underwear that fits and it would help me tremendously if i could start a course to create my own.

    Many Thanks

    Anonymous said

    Hi Anonymous - yes, go to - they can make whatever you want, or they can teach you to make it yourself and you can buy EVERYTHING that you need from them as well, in 16 different colours! I am a big fan of theirs - they are REALLY great! You can speak to Mari - she is extremely knowledgeable! All the best!

    Kyeinfo said

    This is terribly engaging blog & provides the useful info & nice information all over the world.
    bra manufacturers in China

    Anonymous said

    Hi there , need URGENT help please. I have a design for an underwear range. I need someone to make patterns and sew It for me. Please help.

    Yolanda Chepape said

    Hi There, I would to make my own bra. May you please assist/advise on where to buy all bra making essentials like underwire, bra cups, etc, ?

    Samantha Jansen said

    Can anyone help me with a contact for any company that makes lingerie in Johannesburg. Please email me on thank you .

    Rhana Groenewald said

    Good Morning, hope someone can help - I had a double mastectomy - I'm looking for a bra pattern for heavy breasts - no wires please - forward to

    Linda Smit said

    Hi Tina,

    Eks so bly dat ek toevallig op jou blog uitgekom het. Want ek het ook radeloos gegoogle vir materiaal en dies meer.

    Ek het self pryslyste by Marinique gekry en sal hulle sommer dadelik kontak vir materiaal en ander voorraad. Mens kry nie alles nie. Habby & Lace in vereeniging het 'n redelike verskeidenheid, maar geen powernet of foam nie. So jy het sopas my 'n antwoord gegee!

    Baie dankie.

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    Yumenah said

    Hi Thank you very much for the info. I too am quite a busty gurl and find it difficult to find bras my size 36k lol. Will check out the site. Smooches...

    FemmeLine Lingerie Sttudio said

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    maria fourie said

    Hi my name is Maria and I want to take a course on how to make lingerie, but I can't find a place the provides such a course. Do you know of any places in Pretoria. Please let me know.

    Adel Pretorius said

    Where in Pretoria can I get bra patterns foe all sizes. Focus on big sizes like 42DD and 48C

    Marie Swart said

    Tina baie dankie dat jy hierdie informasie met ons deel. Ek is self al moedeloos gesoek na benodighede vir onderklere en het gedink ek gaan nie regkom nie.

    Last Pixie Queen! said

    Your a life saver. I thought i was going to have to buy cheap bra's and cut them up.

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