School of Design

ULITA - an Archive of International Textiles

Adire cloth
Date: c.1970-1984
Dimensions: 158.5 × 167.1 cm (62 3/8 × 65 13/16 in.)
Medium: cotton
Made in: Nigeria, Yorubaland
Collected in: Nigeria, Ilorin
Description: This is a Yoruba Adire cloth, probably produced using synthetic indigo dye. It is machine sewn at both ends, perhaps to display it as a wall hanging, with selvedge on the sides. It is composed of two panels sewn together. It is starch resist dyed, the design being created by the use of stencils. It displays a grid pattern, created by multiple criss-crossing lines. Four-leaf or four-petal shapes are contained within each square formed by the criss-crossing lines. This pattern is identified as ‘Elewe mẹrin’, a four-leaved plant. The term ‘Adire’ is generally used to refer to two types of resist dyed cloth produced in Yorubaland, involving tying and stitching or the use of starch paste. Starch paste is applied either freehand or with the use of stencils. Machine stitching and new types of dyes have been introduced. Adire experienced a massive decline in the late twentieth century but as of the first two decades of the twenty-first century it is enjoying a resurgence. The term ‘Yoruba batik’ is used in this collection to refer to cloth dyed in Yorubaland from the late 1960s onwards with wax as the resist agent. It is classified as a form of resist dyeing separate from Adire. Part of the O'Hear Collection.
Inv. No.: 2014.62

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