Typically when people talk about traditional African textiles names like ankara and kente cloth are thrown around, but for me adire is the unsung hero. My love affair with adire stems from the fact that this textile is made specially by the women of my Yoruba heritage. So what is adire? Adire (pronounced ah-dih-ray) literally translates as tie and die in Yoruba, and most of the earliest pieces of this textile were just that–woven fabrics tied and dyed in natural growing indigo cultivated in the lands of Nigeria. Adire is also created by hand-painting designs using cassava starch paste which allows for resist dyeing. One of the distinct elements of adire is its indigo color that derives from the dye that is created by burning cocoa pods to ashes and then filtering water through the ashes where the indigo leaves are placed and then it is left in the sun for seven to ten days. The hand made techniques used in the fabrication of adire gives it a very unrefined look and the imperfections in the designs are very visible, which is one of my favorite characteristics of the fabric.
When I spotted this particular adire fabric collecting dust in my cousin Funsho's closet it was love at first sight, and I knew I had to have it. Without hesitation he turned the fabric over to my possession and I was free to use my creative license to construct a garment that would do this beautiful kaleidoscope print justice. I settled on making a long full skirt with pockets in order to showcase the print and of course you can never go wrong with a crop top.
Anyone who knows me knows I live for glitter and glamour, so I added an element of this with this beautiful necklace by J. Crew. Currently, I am obsessing over navy blue and black color combinations especially for the fall, which is why I love these heels by Zara. Last but not least, I have the evergreens and open fields of Kennesaw Mountain, Georgia to thank for this location.
So what do you all think about adire? I would love to know about your favorite textiles. Once again thank you for stopping by, I really and truly appreciate you.
Photography by @bearthecrowns.