Textile

1960s (made), 1960-1969 (made)
Textile thumbnail 1
Textile thumbnail 2
Not currently on display at the V&A

Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This is an example of adire, an indigo resist dyed cloth made by the Yoruba people of south-western Nigeria. Resist-dyeing involves treating certain areas of the cloth with a ‘resist’ to prevent them absorbing the dye; in this example starch has been used. It has been applied through a metal stencil, in some areas the starch has been thickly applied and then scraped away with a comb to create a pattern. Although adire cloths were usually made by women those made using mental stencils were generally produced by men.

Two lengths of cloth have been sewn together to form a shape that is roughly square so it could be used as a wraparound skirt. Adire was not a prestigious form of cloth but it was extremely popular during the early 1960s when this example was bought for the museum in the city of Ibadan in south-western Nigeria.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Indigo-dyed and starch resisted cotton
Brief Description
Indigo-dyed starch resist cotton cloth, Nigeria, 1960-1964.
Physical Description
Adire eleko cotton cloth, indigo-dyed and starch resisted. The starch is applied with a stencil, parts are scraped away with a comb, and then it is dyed. Formed of two lengths of cloth stitched together.
Dimensions
  • Width: 161cm
  • Length: 175cm
Object history
Label on textile: '"Adire eleko" (indigo-dyed, starch resisted cloth). The starch resist is applied by stencil to the cotton cloth, parts combed away, then dyed. West African (Western Nigeria); Contemporary / Lent by the Victoria and Albert Museum.'
Historical context
Example of a group of Adire cloths that were bought specifically for the V&A by Jane Barbour.
Production
Yoruba.

Although adire cloth are usually produced by women, stencilled cloths like this one are generally made by men.
Summary
This is an example of adire, an indigo resist dyed cloth made by the Yoruba people of south-western Nigeria. Resist-dyeing involves treating certain areas of the cloth with a ‘resist’ to prevent them absorbing the dye; in this example starch has been used. It has been applied through a metal stencil, in some areas the starch has been thickly applied and then scraped away with a comb to create a pattern. Although adire cloths were usually made by women those made using mental stencils were generally produced by men.



Two lengths of cloth have been sewn together to form a shape that is roughly square so it could be used as a wraparound skirt. Adire was not a prestigious form of cloth but it was extremely popular during the early 1960s when this example was bought for the museum in the city of Ibadan in south-western Nigeria.

Associated Objects
Collection
Accession Number
CIRC.589-1965

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record createdMarch 12, 2008
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