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Meaning Adire is a two syllabic Yoruba word. “Adi” means to tie and “re”, to dye. When put together, Adire simply means, tie and dye. The fabric is made by tying some part of the fabric, then dipping it into an already prepared dye. Origin Adire fabric originated among the indigenous Yoruba people in the Southwestern part of Nigeria. The first technique of making the indigo reverse-dyeing can be traced to Egbaland, Abeokuta, Ogun State. It was first made by the second Iyalode (a Yoruba chieftaincy title conferred on a woman who is to represent other women in the community) of Egbaland in Jojola’s compound in Abeokuta, Chief Mrs. Miniya Jojolola Soetan. Ever since, the fabric has spread all over other Yoruba parts in Nigeria and even some parts in Africa. Production Adire is created by creating patterns on a plain fabric and preventing it from absorbing into an indigo dye. When making Adire, dye colours are mixed together in large clay pots, which are sunken into the ground. Though in recent production, clay pots are not necessarily used. Then the fabric which patterns have been created on is tied in and dipped into the beautiful mixture of indigo dye and then aired to dry properly. The indigo dye used in the production of dye is made from locally grown plants. The plants are fermented to create the dye in different colors. Presently, there are three methods of making Adire in Nigeria.
- Onikan: The Onikan method is made creating little white circles on a blue background by tying raffia around lots of corn kernels and pebbles. The fabric can then be twisted or tied alone or folded into stripes before it is dipped into the dye.
- Alabere: Alabere involves sewing the fabric for Adire to a raffia before dyeing it. After dyeing it, the raffia is removed and a beautiful pattern is created.
- Eleko: In the Eleko technique, cassava paste, chicken feathers, calabash and different things are used to create design on the Adire fabric.
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Women and Adire Like many another Nigerian made fabrics, it is dominated by women. The making of Adire is used to empower women in different parts of Nigeria. Although, a man is not forbidden from taking part in the production of Adire, it is mostly seen as a female job and it is believed that lazy men are the ones who partake in the venture. Adire Styles Adire can be styled in different ways. Traditionally, women wrap it around their waist. Adire has however, transcended from being a wrapper or serving minute purposes to being a force to reckon with. Many Nigeria fashion designers have taken Adire fabric to the next level by incorporating modernity into it. Foreign fashion designers are not left out too. They have made amazing styles with the fabric. Adire can be worn by anyone and everyone. Men, women and children can sew beautiful styles with the fabric. Although, the fabric is peculiar to the Yorubas, it can be worn by anyone. Governor Dapo Abiodun and Adire The current governor of Ogun State, Gov. Dapo Abiodun has stated his plan in making Adire an official uniform for public schools in the state. This plan has been commended by the lovers of Made in Nigeria products. The use of Adire as school uniform is to preserve the culture and upscale the production of Adire in Abeokuta. He has also pushed for Nigerian athletes wearing the Adire fabric. References Wikipedia Fashion and Race Database Featured image source:Tribune Online
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