African Fashion, Culture

Let share a piece of African Adire fabrics with you

Let share a piece of African Adire fabrics with you

Adire textiles are the indigo-dyed cloth (not all are indigo) southwestern Nigeria by Yoruba women, using a variety of resist-dyeing techniques.


The earliest pieces of this type were probably simple tied designs on cotton cloth hand-spun and woven locally, but in the early decades of the 20th-century new access to large quantities of imported shirting material via the spread of European textile merchants in Abeokuta caused a boom in these women’s entrepreneurial and artistic efforts, making adire a major local craft in Abeokuta attracting buyers from all west Africa and beyond


Adire has three (3) divisions which have subdivisions which are shown below:


  1. Guinea
  2. Ankara (not all kinds of Ankara can be used)
  3. Satins
  4. Silk
  5. Chiffon

There are some fabrics that cannot be used to be dyed that’s because they cannot absorb water. Fabrics/materials that can be used in the production of Adire in production include:

  1. Guinea
  2. Ankara (not all kinds of Ankara be used)
  3. Satins
  4. Silk
  5. Chiffons

Fabrics are gotten in different African countries most especially Benin republic, republic of Togo, Ghana and few to be mentioned so people involved in the business get to travel a lot.

Before dying the fabric is designed, it’s first rinsed properly in case there is any substance.

The chemicals used include sulfate, caustic soda, hydrophyte, and more(all in the right proportion)


  1. wash new material to avoid any sizing
  2. suggest a pattern for dyeing batiks
  3. materials for dyeing patterns include any found object

4. Plan the drawing sketch, wax, and dye

5. Stretch the materials tightly on a smooth board, fasten it with a thumb or staple gun

6. Transfer the design from the paper onto the cloth and bring it out using colored chalk

7. Remove the cloth from the board and stretch it tightly over the wooden frame then fasten with thumbtack or staple gun

8. Prepare the molten wax (the wax needs not to be boiled because it can catch fire) use only enough heat to render the wax liquid

Place the frame on newspaper with the cloth side up

Splashing batik

In this process, the wax is sprinkled over the fabric in a random fashion and then the dye is poured. This results in a virtual explosion of random designs and colors.


This is purely textural in effect. Just loosen the fabrics and without any particular method to make in a ball and tie tightly with a rope.

The dye solution is sprinkled over the fabric instead of being dipped into the dye solution. Two or more colors can be used in marbling the fabrics will be left for a while and then rinsed off and left to be sun-dried.

It can be categorized into two ways

  1. Relieve printing
  2. Silkscreen printing

Relieve printing: this is a process in which designs or images are cut out or modeled from a flat surface for printing purposes. Ink is applied on the raised surface which is now in relieving form and then printed on another surface through some manuals or mechanical pressure

Silk printing: it’s a printing done by forcing paint or ink through the openings on a silkscreen, this is a process in which silk or organ dye mesh is tightly stretched over a wooden frame while the paint is forced through some predetermined areas onto another surface e.g paper, fabrics e.t.c such areas with created images are left open when unwanted areas are blocked with a coat of glue, shellac, film or any other suitable material. Design in screen printing is created through the stenciling method. Paper or cardboard can serve as a stencil, images are drawn and parts to be blocked are cut off with a stencil knife leaving some narrow columns to hold the various forms or parts together, the stencil is then fixed onto the mesh surface and traced out, the unwanted areas are then blocked with glue or shellac after which paint is forced through the mesh.

The fabrics are first detached by watering, seeds or stones would be knotted at various intervals and dyed. A part could be left undyed in cases of two or more colors and later dyed with other colors. And it’s of two types or I say size big and small size (eleso wewe and eleso nla).

STITCHING (alabeere)
This is a method that requires needles and sometimes the use of a sewing machines to create faster and more interesting designs. Make a pre-sketch of the design in mind than through the outline of the sketch. Se severally and squeeze severally and fasten. You may vary the technique depending on the desired effect. Sequence patterns and defined shapes are possible with this method.

After the whole process of dying, they are folded in different sizes

After the whole procedure at the production, they are then returned back to the store where it sold out and ready to wear.

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