Constantia Fabrics started out as a tiny front corner premises, spanning a mere 30 square meters. It has since grown into a substantial 350 square meter strong enterprise on the same premises, and Saleh now owns the building. The business also supports a thriving online dimension catering to nationwide clients, particularly in Johannesburg and along the Garden Route. Saleh attributes this growth to a commitment to his clients, who appreciate his variety of original designs, but he is also propelled by his sheer love of fabrics.
Like another local brand success story, Heather Moore of Skinny laMinx, Saleh is a self-taught textile designer. He grew up in Grassy Park, Cape Town, and attended the Constantia Waldorf School. Saleh’s family has been sourcing fabrics from around the world for many years, allowing him to learn from masters of the craft since adolescence. His keen eye for detail and quality has taken his business to the forefront of the local handcrafted textile industry.
Saleh Abrahams’ Inspiration
Early in his career, Saleh travelled around Asia in order to learn about traditional fabric production and textile design. He worked in Hong Kong for two years as a fabric buyer before starting his own business. These experiences have contributed to his expertise and given his work a unique aspect.
Saleh’s design process is meticulously old-fashioned. Scans and photocopies from various books and decorative manuscripts are manually stitched together in order to form shape and pattern. It is this hands-on dedication to each phase of the design process that distinguishes Saleh’s designs and sets Constantia Fabrics apart from other fabric houses.
Constantia Fabrics is also a business with a conscience, and supports Project Playground, a Langa-based NGO that rehabilitates street children and provides a safe haven away from the streets, in the form of curtain and fabric donations.
Most recently, Saleh showcased his latest range of fabrics at the Inspire Trade Show at Gallagher Estate in Midrand, Gauteng, from 10-12 July 2014. Five new designs were launched at the show, expanding on Saleh’s existing stable of designs.
From 4-9 August, Saleh showcased his designs to the hospitality and interior design trade in Lagos, Nigeria, as part of a trade mission supported by Wesgro. In addition, Saleh exhibited at SARCDA, that took place from 21-24 August 2014.