Updated: Jul 4, 2020
Produced by the Yoruba women of southwestern Nigerian, the dazzling indigo resist-dyed cloth that is the Adire is a unique and regal looking material.
Adire (tie and dye) is made by submerging and removing cloth (painted in cassava root paste) in huge earthenware pots filled with fermented indigo or elu leaves which is the dye. A darker shade is created the more the cloth is dipped and removed.
The patterns are created either by hand-drawn designs using chicken feathers (Eleko method), tying raffia around small stones or seeds (Oniko method) or stitching raffia onto the fabric before the dying process and ripping it out after(Alabere method).
This vibrant fabric in its various colours has made a comeback in mainstream fashion as African and European designers are incorporating it into their designs, not only in clothing but in accessories, art pieces, soft furnishing etc.