An Adire Excursion
In the 70s, a local craft became popular and even trendy: adire. Ibadan dun (Ibadan's rocking it) is the name of the old-school design here. The dye used was always indigo, the resist was painted with cassava paste or tied or sewn with raffia.
Adire got popular through a sense of cultural pride and renewal. Here pleats were machine sewn into the fabric before dyeing to produce the block effect. Old adire tends to be sombre-looking.
This dress had machine embroidery on the neckline. The fabric was sewn with raffia as the resist before dyeing to create the tiny squares.
Abeokuta is known as a place to buy adire so off we went. This site by the taxi park is on the way into town.
The gate says Abeokuta International Adire Market so this is where we got down. Adire is also called Kampala.
The market seems a prestige project. With hindsight I think we didn't quite get to the main adire market of Abeokuta.
Wearing adire, even the cheapest types, can be a statement of pride in local heritage. Adire can be a prestige fabric or a humble depending on the base fabric used.
A shop owner and assistant. The craft is mainly overseen and carried out by women: this lady owns her own workshops, importing dyes and fabrics wholesale.
Her fabrics were beautiful, detailed, many layered and VERY EXPENSIVE. The cottage industry using only indigo dye has been transformed. This green cloth is adire on top of printed cotton.
Layers of dyeing: starch resist on top of tie dye on top of guinea brocade fabric.
They showed us different qualities of fabric. Quality is determined by the type of base fabric, not by how intricate the design is.
Starburst. With the crash in the value of the naira she told us how expensive her imported materials have become.
This yellow tie dyed cotton was half the price of the brocade adire fabric it is resting on.
Alhaja was too expensive for us so she directed us to the shop next door. There the goods were mainly batik on plain cotton and therefore cheaper.
We enjoyed our trip, the bargaining and the beautiful cloth we ended up buying.