Textile

1960-1964 (made)
Textile thumbnail 1
Textile thumbnail 2
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Not currently on display at the V&A

Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This adire cloth was bought for the museum in Ibadan, south-western Nigeria in 1964. Adire means to tie and dye in Yoruba. The pattern has been created by folding the cloth from corner to corner like a concertina and then binding it very tightly at various points. It would then have been dyed in large earthenware dye pots partially sunk into the ground. Both the tying and the dyeing would have been done by women.

Adire was generally used by women as wraparound skirts but during the 1960s it was also made into tailored items such as men’s shirts. Adire was extremely popular in the 1960s partly because they were inexpensive and could be made quickly in response to changing fashions. Patterns would fall in and out of favour; this particular cloth was referred to by the woman who bought it for the museum as ‘cloth of the year’ in 1964 because it was so popular.
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read Adire – 'tied and dyed' indigo textiles
object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Cotton, indigo-dyed with starch resist
Brief Description
Indigo resist dyed cotton cloth, Nigeria, 1960-64
Physical Description
Adire cotton cloth, indigo-dyed and starch resisted. Folded, tied and dyed. Two lengths of cloth stitched together.
Dimensions
  • Each length width: 85cm
  • Width: 170cm
  • Length: 155cm
Object history
Label on textile: '"Adire" (indigo-dyed) cloth. The cotton is folded, tied and dyed. West African (Western Nigeria); contemporary. / Lent by the Victoria and Albert Museum'. Collected with the related numbers above.
Production
Made by women. The cloth would have been folded from corner to corner to form a concertina shape and then bound very tightly at various points. Several could be made at one time by stacking the cloths.
Summary
This adire cloth was bought for the museum in Ibadan, south-western Nigeria in 1964. Adire means to tie and dye in Yoruba. The pattern has been created by folding the cloth from corner to corner like a concertina and then binding it very tightly at various points. It would then have been dyed in large earthenware dye pots partially sunk into the ground. Both the tying and the dyeing would have been done by women.



Adire was generally used by women as wraparound skirts but during the 1960s it was also made into tailored items such as men’s shirts. Adire was extremely popular in the 1960s partly because they were inexpensive and could be made quickly in response to changing fashions. Patterns would fall in and out of favour; this particular cloth was referred to by the woman who bought it for the museum as ‘cloth of the year’ in 1964 because it was so popular.

Associated Objects
Collection
Accession Number
CIRC.591-1965

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record createdMarch 12, 2008
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