We are excited to share this article with you because we love Adire. If you are new to Adire, then stay with us. Adire is fabrics, culture, history, spirituality, innovation and tradition.
What is Adire?
Adire is a traditional Nigerian textile dyeing technique that involves resisting dye, where patterns are created by using various methods to assist dye penetration into the fabrics. “Adi” means to tie, and “Re” means to dye. This technique is indigenous to the Yoruba people in the southwestern region of Nigeria and has a rich cultural significance. Adire is popular amongst the people of Egba land in Abeokuta, Ogun state, and is most reflective of its cultural origin.
A linguistic handcraft
Adire continues to be an essential part of promoting culture and traditional dressing, from generation to generation, even in foreign countries across the continent and beyond. Indigenous and authentic Adire is made using natural dyes derived from plants and minerals coupled with the artisanal production process. The appeal of Adire lies not only in its aesthetic beauty but also in the narrative each design carries.
This fabric plays a vital role in preserving the cultural identity of the indigenous people through the designs crafted on each peace which serves as a form of linguistics to tell stories and pass on messages. However, this indigenous craft has recently declined due to several factors: the consistent import of textiles to Nigeria and the piracy of design for mass production in China. More about how second-hand clothes imports impacts the industry here in this blog article imports >
Global recognition of Adire fabrics.
Adire has captured the attention of fashion designers, interior decorators, and art enthusiasts worldwide. The fabric stands at the forefront of fashion events like the African Fashion Week organized by one of Nigeria’s prominent Adire advocates, Queen Aderonke Ademiluyi in Lagos, London, and Brazil. Even Nigeria’s Pan African bank, Ecobank, hosts an annual Adire Experience in Lagos, and the Ogun state government dedicates a whole week to an Adire market week. World-acclaimed designers like Dior and Louis Vuitton have used Adire. So this fabric is renowned for its authentic Afrocentric touch, but still, the industry suffers several setbacks.
Status quo of the Nigerian textile industry.
The Nigerian textile industry has a rich history that dates back to before the pre-colonial era within the region now known as Nigeria today. Nevertheless, the industry today is at one of its lowest points. Failed infrastructure, consistent imports of cheap textiles competing with local production, and lack of capital, technology, and the needed skills plague the industry. Reviving and upgrading Adire craft in Nigeria can bring several benefits to the textile industry and is one strategy to rebrand Nigeria’s textile heritage.
Here are eight actions to take to revive the textile industry using Adire as a forerunner;
- Raise awareness about the value of Adire and textile production, in general, using exhibitions, workshops and educational programs.
- Provide skill development programs for artisans to increase capacity and build expertise.
- Invest in textile infrastructure, such as dyeing facilities and production units.
- Collaborate with designers, fashion houses and retailers to incorporate Adire fabrics.
- Mandate government-funded agencies to employ Adire in their outfits such as office wear, school uniform, etc.
- Encourage policies, financial incentives, and trade protection methods to support the growth of the domestic textile industry against cheap imports.
- Invest in research to improve dyeing techniques, sustainability and fabric structure.
- Develop procedures to protect artisans’ traditional knowledge and intellectual property rights.
These are just a few actions that can help change the game for Nigerian textile and artisans. Entrepreneurs looking to venture into the fashion industry will feel more confident as they can access a reliable supply of world-standard fabrics. Looking to start-up in the textile industry? Check out this blog on How to Build Equity In Nigeria’s Textile Sector >
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