Ki-Jo: The traditional garb now a multipurpose fashion item

Kikoys were originally worn predominantly in East Africa by men. With its bright and vibrant reds, yellows and oranges, imitating the beautiful landscapes, dusks, and dawns of a magical African landscape, it is amazing as a fashion statement and colourful trend on European beaches worldwide.  Incorporating the rainbow colours of today’s fashions, anything is possible with this versatile item which can be custom designed to suit either personal taste or that of a Spa, the ideas are endless.

I first spotted the kikoy on a beach on the Algarve.  I was immediately besotted with the bright lively abundant colourful display of this commonly known item: sarong, towel, or beach wrap. My eyes almost fell out of my head.  I was hooked and knew immediately coming from where I did, Sunny South Africa, the immediate impact this item might have along our coastlines.   I felt it would be a perfect fit.  Needless to say, there went my holiday budget! I couldn’t help myself!

Personally, I’ve not seen anything like this here on our beaches despite being a beach lover and visiting many beaches regularly. I have seen some similar items, but not quite the same.

The fabric is awesome, soft bright and colourful, they have been hand/loom woven, the front of the kikoy is made up of a super soft cotton (60/40 polycotton split) and the backing is also an ultra soft super absorbent terry cloth with a plaited fringed edge on both sides, the yarns are hand dyed according to my selected colours and designs per order and woven accordingly with the minutest difference in each batch of looming.  It is not commercially manufactured by machines, but rather lovingly handmade making each one even more unique.  Super absorbent and lightweight, easy to wash and dry, cold water and lay flat or evenly hung out to dry.  They are made to fade over time but the colour still remains pretty and bright.

The kikoy is a multipurpose item and can be used as a beach wrap (sarong), beach towel, bath towel, pashmina, couch, bed or table throw, or even as a picnic blanket or simply to keep your legs warm.  It can also be used for whatever else you can think of scarf, turban,  the uses are endless. Just about every surface in the home and surrounds can be adorned with these beautiful colourful kikoys.

So began my search.  Eventfully, I found the perfect supplier who understood my excitement and has been willing to work with me with me on bespoke custom designs and colours. We negotiated quantities and were off to a flying start.

Fully imported and designed to my exact order.  Not only will we be supplying the Multipurpose Kikoy but there are many other items that I am working on at the moment with my supplier related to clothing, bags and other beach accessories all made with this intended design representing the woven kikoy.  So keep your eyes glued to this spot for news about new and upcoming products.

Contact Kim via e-mail on [email protected] or call or WhatsApp on on 072 233 5543.

Kim Hillary

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