Adire textile is a resist-dyed cloth produced and worn primarily by the Yoruba people of southwestern Nigeria. Adire was first applied to indigo-dyed cloth decorated with resist patterns in the early twentieth century. By the second half of the twentieth century, a broader color palette of imported synthetic dyes was introduced. Adire then included a variety of hand-dyed textiles using wax-resist batik methods to produce patterned cloth in a dazzling array of dye tints and hues.
Adire textile production is assumed to be inborn; inherited by birth and the heritage passed on to descendants of families. In Egba land, the craft was formerly known to be a family business. Parents passed the techniques down to their female children and the wives of their sons. But recently our indigenous textiles which portray our rich and buoyant culture is going extinct and a whole lot of us are sitting still and doing nothing about it. On several occasions, we’ve seen dignitaries who elegantly rocked their traditional outfits to a formal event or gathering and they were criticized for doing so.
The Inflow of foreign textiles in the Nigerian market is one of the major reasons why our locally made fabrics and clothing are almost going extinct. Nigerians have accepted these imported brands and they have gradually become household names and slowly we are gradually eradicating our traditional attires.
There are a lot of individuals who do not appreciate or value locally made textiles, they question its durability and contemporary styles. Usually, it is so because the tools used in the making of these textiles are gotten from our local stores and our neighborhood, but irrespective of that it doesn’t make it less valuable or important.
The majority of today’s youths lack basic knowledge concerning the adire fabric, its history, and its procedures. A good number of them have certain misconceptions about adire and in order to sustain our cultural values, there is a need for reorientation so as to reverse the influence of external cultures and the erosion of the local one.
As a society, it is our responsibility to ensure that our cultural heritage is preserved for the generations yet to come; and to do so we need to endeavor to teach and pass down the knowledge we obtained from our forefathers down to our children. This is why the Adire Lounge Empowerment Initiative has always been about enlightening women and youths in underdeveloped communities by empowering them with the required skills in adire making, so as to ensure that our cultural heritage and way of life don’t go extinct.