All MAPULA (Mother of Rain) EMBROIDERIES are original. The Mapula embroiderers are a group of around 150 women, working from their homes or from a facility kindly provided by the Sisters of Mercy in the Winterveld, an impoverished area northwest of Pretoria, South Africa. The pieces are designed, and hand embroidered by these talented women and some are exhibited in museums and private collections worldwide. Although they only get paid at sale of the product, we make sure the women receive a fair price for their work!

Some of the designs for the smaller items may be repeated, but each product is embroidered by a different embroiderer who decides on what colour and stitch she uses to transform the design into a bright, unique Mapula item. As these are handmade products, please allow for variations in design and slight variations in size. All products are made with South African materials, and have a label with washing instructions. Products shown on this page are samples.


Mapula produces a selection of hand embroidered wall hangings on black cotton fabric. With needle and thread stories are being told. The women have managed to capture the history and rural and social comment of their time in their embroideries. They get their ideas from local magazines, newspapers, television and increasingly from the internet. Designated artists/designers, Selinah Makwana, members of the Maepa family, Dorah Hlongwane, Maria Rengane, Maria Mmatsie and Elizabeth Malete, draw the images while the other embroiderers translate the images into brightly embroidered wall hangings with colours of their choice. This ensures every piece is different and original.

Wall hangings are available in the following sizes:
Large wall hanging 100x 100cm
Medium wall hanging 70x 100cm
Small wall hanging 70 x 50cm

The 100 x 70cms and the 70 x 50 cms wall hangings can appear either in landscape or portrait. The subjects of the wall hangings are varied and include: Rural, Wildlife, Political comment, Social comment.

Prices are based on size, quality and design content. Please contact us for more information.


Most popular is the large tote bag. These 40 x 40 cm bags come with a double shoulder strap. They are hand embroidered on black cotton fabric on one side and lined with a bright ‘african print’ cotton fabric on the inside. The designs are of animals, flowers and rural scenes in bright colours. These beautiful bags are popular with both conference organisers and delegates, and make a lovely corporate gift. By purchasing these bags for conferences or as corporate gifts, companies can fulfil their corporate social responsibility goals. The income generated from these sales, supports the women and children of the Mapula Embroideries who live in a disadvantaged community.

Bespoke designs for orders of 40 bags or more can be taken. A conference theme in line with the Mapula designs can be negotiated if the order is placed at least 3 months in advance. Remember – this is a handmade product and takes time to execute.


The current cell bags are ‘under construction’. Beginning of 2021 we will present a new range of small bags.

Beginning of 2021 the current cushion cover of 41 x 41 cm will be replaced by a more popular size of 50 x 50 cm. New in the assortment will be an oblong cushion cover of 50 x 30cm!

A Raw Square refers to an embroidered piece of black fabric before it has been transformed into a cushion cover or a tote bag. These Raw Squares are very popular with quilters and other creatives. They are available in size 60 x 60 cm and 60 x 40 cm.


A New item in our product range is the 40 x 32 cm lap top bag, a popular addition to the Mapula Embroideries range. On the front of the laptop bag, brightly coloured, hand embroidered images of birds, wildlife and rural life, appear on black cotton fabric. Both sides of the bag are padded for protection of your laptop and closed with a brightly colored zip at the top. There is a large pocket on the back of the bag for holding notes.


Looking to brighten up your interior with a splash of colour? Mapula makes the most beautiful cushion covers for you to pick from. The 41 x 41 cm cushion covers are hand embroidered in bright colours on a black background of cotton fabric. The back of the cover has two overlapping panels to allow the opening for the stuffing.


With these colourful placemats your table will look stunning and it may even spark conversation! The 40 x 32 cm padded placemats are embroidered on black cotton fabric on one side only. The designs are a mix of people, cultural scenes, animals and flowers.


Mapula Embroideries started a selection of aprons in 4 different colours ranging from Lime Green, Purple, Red and Black. Don’t let the flashy nature hold you from splashing out in the kitchen. They are washable like all Mapula products.


A 50 x 50 cm Raw Square refers to an embroidered square before it has been transformed into a cushion cover or a tote bag. These Raw Squares are very popular with quilters and other creatives.


Sometimes we have embroidered pieces that haven’t been sold. Once in a while, we select some to ‘upcycle’ into one-of-a-kind products. Cute baby elephants (we call them Ellies) are made as an ‘upcycle’ product by one of the Mapula Trustees. In the past we have made beautiful jackets to size too, and from some offcuts, we sometimes make pencil bags.