Mungo Story

Mungo was founded in 1998 by Master Weaver Stuart Holding. Based in the seaside town Plettenberg Bay, South Africa and housed in the historical homestead of Old Nick Village.

The path to creation of Mungo has been long and spans the greater part of the working life of one man, Stuart Holding.

Equipped with extensive practical skills learnt during a 5 year apprenticeship in the Weaving Mills of Yorkshire U.K. he caught a ship to South Africa where weaving technicians were in hot demand. Fed up with industry and conventional ways of doing things he built a loom in the lounge, learnt to spin and started weaving curtains and jackets for a clientele keen on his hands on approach. This was the 70′s and the Craft Revolution was gaining momentum. He even experimented with weaving dog hair collected from doggy parlours. Opportunities arose on the glorious Garden Route so everything including wife and 2 dogs were squeezed into a tiny rusty car and a new adventure began.

Securing the lease on a wonderful old trading store, called Old Nick, on the edge of the N2 highway he began teaching the local people to spin and weave. The Xmas season brought many eager holiday makers to the in house shop and the quiet times were used to develop a wider range of product. It was very much a family affair with his wife, Janet running a pottery workshop in tandem with helping with the making up of woven product for sale and the children cutting their teeth on everything to do with making things by hand.

As things grew bigger premises were required and the workshop moved into the old school at The Crags nearby. He bought some redundant power looms and developed ranges of pure cotton furnishing fabrics and the South African version of the classical mohair blanket, all sold under the name of Stuart Holding Fabrics. Products were sold locally and abroad.

Stuart entered a partnership with Cape Mohair but was not well suited to the corporate life and in time moved on.

An opportunity arose started a weaving project in the Tsitsikama but this ill-fated venture burnt to the ground in one of the fynbos fires that race through this area from time to time. It was time to reassess his options and after building a house, spending months sailing on the Chesapeake Bay in the U.S and eventually buying and renovating the Old Nick farm house complex, Stuart finally gave over to his passion for designing and weaving textiles.

Thus was Mungo born – an expression of Stuart’s own brand of skill, philosophy and aesthetic. 15 years on, Mungo has crossed generations and is now a family run business, taking it forward and sharing our unique story and skill with the world.