African Jacquard: a story that started in Angola

African Jacquard: a story that started in Angola

  • Post category:The Team

Christine DARON, creator of the African Jacquard brand tells us … a story that begins in Angola!

Twenty years ago, the company Tristan, just created in Cape Town by Louis and Christine DARON and Arnaud Dabancourt, mainly exports materials on the Yard de Lobito which has just seen the light of day. While managing a concrete iron shipment, Christine receives a call from the buyer who will change the course of her professional life. He asks: “Are there beds and sofas in South Africa?” True! This request may seem naive today, but it must be seen in the context of the late 90s.

South Africa, admittedly in full political opening, still has a relatively closed economy and Angola, which is emerging from 30 years of war, lacks almost everything.

In Lobito, there is just one small hotel. The Yard at Sonamet is growing and expatriates must be accommodated at 3, 4 or 5 in renovated houses. Christine lists and sources all the necessary equipment that Tristan ships to Lobito to accommodate these geographic single expatriates as comfortably as possible.

It was therefore totally by chance that Christine embarked on decoration projects in Lobito, then quickly in Soyo. Having lived in Gabon, she knows the tropical atmosphere and furnishes hundreds of houses and studios in an African-inspired style, simple but comfortable and warm so that they feel a little at home during their stay in Angola.

The style appealed, Christine had the privilege of decorating and furnishing, among other things, pretty projects including the Kwanda hotel in Soyo, the La Collinas hotel apartments in Luanda Sul and the Chicala Total hotel thanks to the help of a few French women living on site and as passionate about decoration as she is. Their precious help helped finalize beautiful installations and promote the sale of African Jacquard products.

It was of course also necessary to find fabrics for the curtains, cushions, sofas … so many needs that allowed Christine to develop a solid Interior Decoration department in Cape Town within the Tristan Group. For this, she surrounded herself with qualified interior designers and carried out projects in Congo, Tanzania, Mozambique, Ghana … both to install offices as well as residential complexes and guesthouses, restaurants.

This experience allowed her to develop a certain taste for all forms of textiles and when she visited a tea towel weaving factory in the South West of France, an idea was born naturally: why not make souvenir tea towels for expatriates settled in Gabon, Congo and Angola by choosing to weave landscapes or icons specific to each country? The baobab, La Maison des Esclaves and La Langouste d’Angola are the motifs chosen for the first Angolan collection.

These tea towels, aprons and kitchen gloves, then made in France, were very popular in Luanda from 2013 to 2016.

The manufacture is then done in South Africa, in Cape Town, on Jacquard looms and new products, tablecloths, napkins, tea towels, aprons, are created for this country.

The range widens even more at the end of 2018 with throws and bedspreads, cushion covers and, very recently, a new range of tea towels for Angola: The Pensador, the Baobab, and the Welwitschia Mirabilis flower of the desert from Namib.

Christine was touched by reading Anne Ducognon’s blog on the Pensador, by Madeleine Richard and Annick Watson’s book on the Baobab, and after going back and forth in 4X4 Cape Town – Luanda and admired this tree and the creeping desert flowers unique in their kind along this long road, she wanted to make them exist on fabric. This is how you can now use beautiful household linen in the colors of Angola.

The manufacture is then done in South Africa, in Cape Town, on Jacquard looms and new products, tablecloths, napkins, tea towels, aprons, are created for this country.

The range widens even more at the end of 2018 with throws and bedspreads, cushion covers and, very recently, a new range of tea towels for Angola: The Pensador, the Baobab, and the Welwitschia Mirabilis flower of the desert from Namib.

Christine was touched by reading Anne Ducognon’s blog on the Pensador, by Madeleine Richard and Annick Watson’s book on the Baobab, and after going back and forth in 4X4 Cape Town – Luanda and admired this tree and the creeping desert flowers unique in their kind along this long road, she wanted to make them exist on fabric. This is how you can now use beautiful household linen in the colors of Angola.

Today, Jessica Daval represents African Jacquard and heads the Deco department of Capcimbo. She will welcome you in her showroom where you can find the different ranges of African Jacquard products.