Adire Eleko Cloth from Yoruba, Nigeria

Artwork
Identifier:
2021.53.13
Artist:
Artist Unknown
Credit:
Gift of Barbara Paxon
Medium:
Indigo Dyed, Handpainted with Starch-Resist Cloth
Date:
circa 1960
Dimensions:
Artworks - Height: 36" Width: 76"
Description:
Indigo (blue) dyed cloth with a variety of patterns created by using a starch-resist technique. Most of the fabric has a grid pattern (four square high, 7 squares wide) with different patterns in each, including leaves, zig-zag, and floral shapes. One end has "Ibadan is Sweet" written in the resist.
Historical Context:
"Adire" is the name for any indigo resist-dyed Yoruba cloth produced through a variety of techniques such as tying, knotting, binding, stitching, freehand painting, or stenciling. "Adire eleko" refers to hand-painted designs typically applied by women. To create the patterns, the artist paints the motifs on the cloth using cassava starch paste as the resist material, the dyes the cloth in an indigo bath that washes away the starch, leaving the pattern behind.