School of Design

ULITA - an Archive of International Textiles

Adire cloth
Date: c.1970-1984
Dimensions: 171.5 × 173.5 cm (67 1/2 × 68 5/16 in.)
Medium: cotton
Made in: Nigeria, Yorubaland
Collected in: Nigeria, Ilorin
Description: Made from a damask-type cloth, this Yoruba Adire cloth has selvedge on two sides. It features a repeated starburst design, produced by folding the cloth to form a rectangle, holding the centre of the rectangle and tying it with string. The method of applying the colours is not immersion in a dye bath but ‘spotting’, that is, applying a high concentration of dye solution to specific spots where colours are desired. The major colours are purple and orange, with some green at one corner. 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.: 2014.69

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