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Cape Town based Balu was born as a cottage industry in the early 90’s. The designer and creator, Barbara Louise (Balu) Nivison painted sarongs, which she sold on the beach, while also creating children’s wear for her friends. Eventually she had a small group of workers in her home, drying her artworks on the lawn.
In time, Balu, the company, graduated to small premises in a factory in Salt River. A centre for hand painting was then established in Maitland for the training of numerous unemployed, unskilled, but willing “artists” to paint every metre of Balu fabric. A graphic designer managed this factory and, together with Balu, trained the staff in hand painting techniques. All designs are original and based in nature and variations of design, shading and texture give each garment an individual personality. In 1995, it became a division of the largest clothing manufacturer in South Africa, Seardel Group Trading
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