Home Art Textile Arts Traditional Yoruba Adire Eleko & Tie-dye with Indigo with Gasali Adeyemo – G24070401

Traditional Yoruba Adire Eleko & Tie-dye with Indigo with Gasali Adeyemo – G24070401

Jul 21 – 27 2024

Adire Eleko is the process of creating designs using cassava paste (also called yucca), a small broom, and a chicken feather.  I teach the students how to prepare the paste, so they can do it themselves when they are home. There are two techniques in Adire, the first is to use a stencil, and the second is to create the patterns by hand. I show the students both methods. After the designs are created I then show the students how to prepare indigo and use it to dye their work. Finally, I show them the process to remove the cassava from their work.

Tie-Dye is the process of using raffia to tie fabric and then dying the fabric. There are a few different tie-dye techniques; the first is called stitch resist where the design is made using a needle to stitch the raffia into the fabric. The other method is done by hand using raffia to create designs. I teach the students both Tie-Dye techniques as well as how to dye the fabric and remove the raffia.

The primary dye I use in my workshops is Indigo. Indigo has been used as a dye in Africa for a very long time. The Yoruba name for indigo is “elu”. Since the olden days indigo has been used for medicine as well as a dye; it cures an upset stomach. Indigo is also used to ward off viruses; houses are painted with indigo to prevent the sickness from entering.

Indigo is an organic substance, it comes from the indigo plant which grows wild in Nigeria. During the beginning of the rainy season the leaves are harvested and then dried. After they have dried they are formed into little balls which are then used to prepare the dye.