Sandra (Bennett)

Sandra (Bennett) Pedegana

Freelance Textile Designer & Consultant in Cape Town, South Africa. An ethical, committed, and reliable designer with long-standing, global experience in all aspects of textile design, from the ecological footprint to the final product.

Sands is an experienced Textile Designer skilled in textile repeat prints, textile art & design.  A keen advocate of sustainable and alternative production methods and materials, she has an innate love of nature, animals and the environment. With a demonstrated history of working in the textiles industry, she is a strong production and design professional with a focus on creating seamless repeat patterns for fashion and home furnishing, as well as embroidery & applique designs. She has designed for companies in the USA, UK, Australia, Hong Kong & South Africa and worked with all types and sizes of organisations. She is comfortable working across multiple time zones and enjoys communicating between clients, printers and embroiderers worldwide. In her consulting role, she has trained staff at many levels and benefitted companies by introducing systems that improved production line manufacturing, operations, standards and productivity.

She creates bespoke designs and ranges for clients and has launched her own range of scarves and fabric designs under the name Eclectic’a Designs. After graduating from Durban University of Technology in the late 80’s, Sands Pedegana began her textile design career in the design studio of Frame Textiles. Designing fabrics for South African fashion and interiors, Frame Textiles was a fully integrated mill, allowing her to do a deep dive into the spin-weave-dye-print process alongside treatments and end uses for different base cloths. Three years later, a gap year in the USA saw her freelancing in NYC while creating hand-made paper for a small company. Thanks to Sands’ deep understanding of dye and colour, she helped enhance the consistency of the company’s products by producing a recipe manual for the standard colours they used. She then spent a few months travelling the national parks, scuba diving, enjoying her love of nature and getting to know the States.

Returning to South Africa, Sands relocated to Cape Town to open the satellite office and showroom for Tinlyn’s Rotary Textiles. Working closely with the local fashion industry, she provided designs and fulfilled fabric orders for clientele including Woolworths, Polo SA, Edgars, Vertigo, Jenny Button and Truworths. While in Cape Town, Sands met and married her husband Rob, then returned to the States to work in Seattle for Nordstrom and Eddie Bauer Home and Survival Inc. A few years later, she commuted weekly to work in California for Durkan Mohawk, designing carpets for the hospitality market. In 2000, Sands and Rob relocated to London, where she worked for Brintons Carpets, designing for the Birmingham to Brighton territory, connecting with designers and architects the likes of Aukett Europe, Hunt Hamilton Zuch, Harriet Forde Design, The Hayley Conference Centers and Elliots. The final, special project Sands worked on was for No. 10 Downing Street, which was installed just a few months before her first baby Renée was born.

Four years on, and just 5 weeks after her son Graeme joined the world, Sands’ family relocated back to South Africa where she continued to freelance for Woolworths, Edcon, Karen Harmen NY, Li and Fung, Home Choice, Target Australia, Sugar Textiles and a variety of small boutiques, assisting them with their logos and launch designs. Contracted to The Moss Group, she worked on a project for SASTAC (Southern African Sustainable Textile and Apparel Cluster). As part of a strategy spanning the entire value chain from raw materials to retail, her presentation “From Farm to Fashion” was used to aid various companies with the understanding she gained into the fundamental processes involved.

Her team researched, gathered data and provided insights into the Governmental and Retail Industry Demand on Textiles in South Africa, collecting and validating which fabrics and specs were being used and how much fabric the specified garments/items required, calculating back to fibre content and bales of cotton required. In 2019, Sands worked part time at the Sparrow Society, a female-powered non-profit company focusing on skills development, job creation and enterprise development. Training Sewbosses at a small CMT, she taught them manufacturing skills & processes and how to run a production line. She also taught layup, cutting, basic screen printing, warehouse & storeroom management as well as QC staff.

Alongside maintaining ongoing communication with clients about the materials they required and to ensure their deadlines were met, Sands ran schedules and timelines and arranged deliveries. Streamlining systems & processes ensured smoother operations and improved overall standards throughout the cutting, manufacturing and QC processes.

Sandra’s Instagram

Bell and Bennett

Sands and Megan Donnelly Bell have been friends since university. While Sands lived in the States, she and Megan exhibited together at the SURTEX Show in NYC two years in a row. The two friends still enjoy collaborating together on bespoke designs & ranges under the Bell & Bennett name.