Thursday, March 27, 2008


Adire is an integral part of the Egba culture in Abeokuta. Recently it has enjoyed a new trend in its production, handmade print is applied to add glow, making it a wearable art.Local fabrics are in thing in fashion today and adire is not exception, it is stunnishly making statement. Some years back, who would have thought that adire and other local fabrics could creep into our offices, campus and daily wears?
Perhaps more than any art form, textile reflects the culture from which they come. The Adire textiles are a viable means of which the rich African Cultural heritage and ideas could be convey to other culture and outside world.
This highly developed textiles form has transcends many culture and individuals. Adire, tie and dye over the years has become a viable vacation for educated men and women who now adapt to the latest technologies to develop new designs suitable and befitting all occasions to meet international standard.
Over the years, Adire has witnessed tremendous metamorphosis. The commonly known Adire comes in yards, 5 yards or more, of which the textile designers reflect their thoughts and ideas in the patterns they make on the fabric. Today, the textile designers incorporate print of intricate design with the use of rich and vibrant hues of opaque inks. The print gives the Adire a rich elaborate effect, making it look close to a painting piece. The end product are adopted into curtains, coverings for cushion chairs, throw pillow case, table cloth and the popular one, a ready-to-wear outfits.
The fad of this wearable art from Abeokuta is fast growing and gaining popularity. It is traditional and modern, elaborate and elegant with a great feel of ethnicity.
Some of the Artist that are trending the part of this new trade of Art are wilkor Creations, dacosta prints, duduethnikz among many others. Their works could be access through the links below.
.Materials For Tie & Dye:
i. Fabric- all kinds of cotton cloth are suitable.
ii. Dye
iii. Dye Chemicals- Caustic Soda, Sodium Hydrosulphite, Soda Ash, Common Salt
iv. Dye Vessels- Any vessels of enamel, Stainless, Steel and galvanized ware are suitable fo hot and cold dyes.
v. Thread- All kinds of string, Bast, T wist, Yarn, Raffia(iko),
vi. Spoon- For measuring and adding dye
vii. Sticks- For Stirring the Dye
viii. Scissors
ix. Rubber Gloves
x. Apron
xi. Pins & Needles
xii. Iron
xiii. Pencil, Chalk or Charcoal
xiv. Rulerx
v. Polythene Bags(of all sizes)
Making of Adire is a reflection of the textile designer’s contact with the social – cultural environment of which he exists. Adire, tie and dye is a resist process, which consists of tying, knotting, folding or sewing certain parts of the cloth in a way that when immersed in dye solution, the dye will not penetrate into the tied area of the fabric.
The production of Adire textile is done in two ways in which both are resist methods of dying a pattern on a fabric. A part of the cloth is protected before it is immersed into the dye bath. The resisting agent, such as rafia or cotton thread resists the dye so as not to penetrate into the resisted areas. This is what the Egbas called “ONIKO”. Some patterns are stitched with a needle and thread which is called “ALABERE”.
The second method is called, “ELEKO”. The method is achieved on the fabric with application of starch paste made from cassava flour. This starch resists the dye from penetrating through the cloth. The starch pastes are applied with brush or feather on the surface of the fabric or through a stencil that has been cut into a design. It will be left to dry for a while under the sun before it is immersed into a dye solution.
Materials:The materials needed in the printing of designs on the ready-to-wear outfits are printing screens, squeegee, stencil and textile inks (opaque), often time’s acrylic and poly mark are use to add finesse and pep.

The fabrics are taken to the tailor before working on it. The sown fabrics are immersed into the dye solution of the artist choice of colour. The next step after the dying is to spread it on a printing table for the printing process to commence.Afterwards, opaque ink is applied on the printing screen and placed on top of the fabric, squeegee is used to spread the ink along the surface of the screen.
The wearable art with it frills of ethnicity speaks more of our cultural heritage. Its recognition is fast spreading even beyond the shore of Nigeria. This is due to the rate at which the designers are going through the trend of latest fashion is fascinating. It could be worn on jeans, corporate trouser, skirt or what have you.
The branding and packaging of the Adire in a ready-to-wear content is a plus to its accessibility and patronage in the society, thus making it prominent.
Meanwhile, the artists are strongly advice to use good and original materials to ensure a piece that is fast and durable. I hope one day to see this form of Art being paraded at the big event of fashion shows in Milan London, Paris, Tokyo, and New York.………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………...The writer is a painter and a textile artist. He could be contacted for more expository on the subject or for practical presentation.
ADENIYI OLUSEGUN MICHAEL +234 802 406 9722, ,