African fabrics are known for their diverse and complex designs which usually tell a story and are depictions of the culture and traditions of the society. Adire is a resist-dyed cloth produced and worn by the Yoruba people of southwestern Nigeria in West Africa. The term adire means “tied and dyed” and it was first applied to indigo-dyed cloth decorated with resist patterns, and with the introduction of a broader color palette of dyes, the label “adire” was expanded to include a variety of hand-dyed textiles using wax resist batik methods to produce patterned cloth in a dazzling array of dye tints and hues.
The adire fabric is unique because of its process, indigenous designs and the beautiful end result which portrays the rich cultural heritage and tradition of the Yoruba people. Recently I sat and watched some artisans transform plain white fabrics to colorful pieces covered with various designs, and patterns, and truly I must say it was a pleasing sight to behold, the precision, dedication, and the love for the craft were visible to the eyes.
The innovative designs/patterns in Adire are one of the reasons why it is appealing and in high demand. A lot of designers are specific on the exact type of fabric/designs/color they need for their brand, but the majority of these designs are not easily found in the market, so that is where adire comes in. Artisans are capable of making the exact patterns/designs and dying them to their preferred choice of color
Adire is an art that portrays the vibrant Yoruba culture, that was passed down from one generation to the next. Frequently we have seen and come across younger individuals of several tribes get involved in adire making, and it has proven to be a thriving business. It’s no news that the youths are more creative and are frequently conceiving beautiful designs and patterns which have enabled them to be self-employed and they are thriving in their field of work.