Owners, Rob and Julia Shuttleworth both have degrees in Fine Art. After a brief time in other occupations, they chose to join Rob's parents and Shuttleworth Weaving's founders, Andy and Helen, in 2005. Whereas Rob explores patterns, textures, and finishes to create innovative looks within each product, Julia experiments with the various fibres and colours, exploring the many possibilities. Their philosophy is to build the business around what they both enjoy doing: artisan work, creating unique, beautifully crafted items on the smallholding in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.
They share the farm with horses, dogs, a cat, chickens, a few vegetable patches, and an assortment of many different wildlife species including porcupine, bushbuck, aardvark, bush pig, baboons, and eagles, and just about any predator known to eat chickens.
Our small team of skilled crafters can be found designing, spinning, dyeing, and weaving in a beautiful natural setting, the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands of South Africa. As a strong family business, we are committed to our workers acknowledging them as skilled weavers and craftspeople in their own right. They are the creators of handwork which is both original and beautiful.
When it comes to spinning the yarns, we rely on Zanele, who also shares the knowledge of her craft with the other, younger team members, like Theresa.
Jennet Dlamini has developed a remarkable aptitude for blending related colours into rugs to create an incredibly pleasing effect. She is the longest-standing team member, having started with Shuttleworth Weaving in 1983.
Ne Zuma and Noxolo Khanyile are both weavers, they work very well as part of the team in big rugs but are also very capable weavers when working on their own looms. They both come from Lotheni which is a rural settlement in central Drakensberg. Xolo’s bubbly character lights up the shed and gets everyone around her shouting and laughing.
Elizabeth, one of our salespeople in our showroom, originally from Zimbabwe, is a sociable character and her strength as a salesperson is in her friendly demeanour and sensitivity to people’s needs. She knows just when to step back and leave customers to have a look or step in and advise and help. She has made herself an indispensable part of our team by finishing off throws and carpets whenever she is not busy helping customers.
Helen and Andy Shuttleworth have lived in Fort Nottingham for more than 40 years. They settled on a hilltop surrounded by indigenous forests. Andy and Helen have both retired from the day-to-day running of the business, so Robert, (their son) and his wife, Julia, now head up the business.