Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.



  • Place of origin:

    Africa (Probably Nigeria, made)

  • Date:

    1960-1967 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    The cotton cloth has been tied with raffia and dyed. In some places the tying is intact.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Adire means to tie and dye in Yoruba and the pattern on the cloth has been made by tying sections of the cloth tightly with raffia so they do not absorb the indigo when the cloth is submerged in the dye vat. Indigo dyeing was done by women using large earthenware dye pots partially sunk into the ground. The small circles were created by tying small stones or seeds into the cloths while the larger cloths are made by raising a point of cloth and then binding the cloth below tightly, leaving a larger round area of white. In this example it is possible to see a large circle that has not been bound tightly enough and is therefore pale blue rather than white.

Adire cloths were worn as wraparound skirts. They were not particularly prestigious but during the 1960s they were extremely popular. Part of their success lay in the fact that they were inexpensive and could be made quickly in response to changing fashions.

Physical description

Indigo-dyed cotton textile.

Place of Origin

Africa (Probably Nigeria, made)


1960-1967 (made)



Materials and Techniques

The cotton cloth has been tied with raffia and dyed. In some places the tying is intact.


Width: 33.75 in, Length: 81 in

Descriptive line

Indigo resist-dyed cotton textile, West Africa, 1960-1967


Indigo; Cotton


Resist dyeing


Textiles; Africa


Textiles and Fashion Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.