Yesterday I had the pleasure of checking out a brand new textile line called Petel Africa. The gorgeous, vibrant fabrics are imported from Africa by Julie and Ibrahim Wagne, who threw a launch party for their new line yesterday at Kappa Zakka boutique in Hayes Valley.
Super wonderful story: the couple, who now have two daughters, met while they were both serving in the Peace Corps in Mauritania, Ibrahim’s home country, and the place where Petel textiles are handcrafted by members of his tribe, the Fulani. But the art of creating these beautiful fabrics is labor intensive, and despite the beautiful results, it’s a dying craft.
So Julie and Ibrahim launched Petel to support Fulani textile makers. All proceeds from their sales will go back to the tribe for training in how to weave using traditional wooden African looms. The word “Petel” translates to “little spark” in Pulaar, the Fulani language, and that’s exactly what they hope their startup project will be for the men and women who hand loom these fabrics.
Sales will soon be live on the Petel site, until then contact the founders by phone or email, or you can buy (what’s left from their launch party!) in person at Kappa Zakka. And stay tuned for their next shipment: vintage skirts like the amazing one Julie is wearing at the party (I have one reserved already!) and vintage scarves taken straight from the necks of “rugged African men.”
“We’re taking their old ones and buying them new ones, because the vintage fabric is so great!” Julie said. Genius!
An adorable little trick-or-treater parade led by a trumpeteer from Seesaw down the street stormed the place as the party wound down–luckily they had plenty of candy on hand!