School of Design

ULITA - an Archive of International Textiles

adire cloth
Date: mid 20th Century
Dimensions: 182 x 137 cm (71 5/8 x 53 15/16 in.)
Medium: cotton
Made in: Nigeria, Kano
Description: This piece of Adire tie-dyed fabric, sometimes known adire alabere, is created by tying small stones, woodchips, seeds or beans into the cloth prior to dyeing. It has been constructed from two smaller pieces stitched together prior to the tying and dyeing taking place. The Yoruba tribe of Nigeria produced many cloths of this type. A slightly different pattern has emerged on the reverse, due to the way the ties there resisted the dye, and protected the fabric. Raffia ties are commonly used. The pattern of the whole piece looks circular, but it is in fact a spiral. Adire cloth is perhaps the most distinctive and, outside Nigeria, the most well known of Yoruba cloth types. Adire textiles are immediately recognizable with their distinctive deep blue colour and intricate patterns. Although the production is now limited, its history is an integral part of the development of the modern Yoruba identity.
Inv. No.: 1788
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