Textile

1960s (made), 1960-1969 (made)
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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 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 dying 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.

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. Patterns would fall in and out of favour, it was said by the woman that bought this cloth that its popularity had peaked 1962
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read Adire – 'tied and dyed' indigo textiles
object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Known in Yoruba as <i>adire oniko</i> (from the Yoruba word for raffia - <i>iko</i>) the small circles are made by tyeing small seeds or stones into the cloth with raffia while the larger white areas are created by making a point of cloth and then binding it tightly.
Brief Description
Indigo resist dyed cotton, Nigeria, 1960s
Physical Description
Two pieces of cotton cloth sewn together to form a shape that is rouglhly square. Indigo dyed with a pattern of five rows of large circles, the backbround is infilled with smaller circles.
Dimensions
  • Length: 181cm
  • Width: 165.5cm
Content description
Jane Barbour who acquired this cloth for the museum referred to this pattern is known as olusapeloso - moons and fruit. However, it is important to be careful about assigning names to adire cloths as they change over time and space.
Object history
Label on textile: '"Adire" (indigo-dyed) cloth. The cotton cloth is tied with raffia and dyed. / West African (Western Nigeria); Contemporary. / Lent by the Victoria and Albert Museum'. Bought by Jane Barbour specifically for the V&A in the 1960s along with the related numbers above.
Production
Made by women. Adire Oniko is indigo dyed cotton where raffia has been used as the resist agent , from the Yoruba word for raffia Iko. The small circles are made by tying small seeds into the cloth. The larger circles are made by raising a point of cloth and then binding it tightly.
Summary
This adire cloth was bought for the museum in Ibadan, south-western Nigeria in 1964. 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 dying 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.



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. Patterns would fall in and out of favour, it was said by the woman that bought this cloth that its popularity had peaked 1962

Associated Objects
Collection
Accession Number
CIRC.592-1965

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record createdMarch 12, 2008
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