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We are huge fans of batik fabric, in particular Adire which is the type of tie dye fabric popular among the Yoruba people of Southern Nigeria. If you have a look at our products made with Adire, you get a sense of various patterns that are repeated across the fabric. Each of these patterns have very specific meanings.


Although I knew what some of these symbols represented, I have always wanted a catalogue of sorts, where they were all explained. I was extremely excited to learn of the new book Storytelling Through Adire: An Introduction to Adire Making and Pattern Meanings by Allyson Aina Davies which I purchased immediately.

The book details very beautifully with illustrations what each of these patterns and symbols mean, each with a name and story. The stories are often words of advice from the elders, or a means of documenting social, economic and environmental conditions. With symbols such as Adé- Crown, Eegun-eja- fish bone, Ewé ẹ̀gẹ́- Cassava leaf and many more.


Alángbá Bẹ̀rẹ̀kẹ̀tẹ̀ (Fat Lizard) “The big stomach is a symbol of wealth. It is important to feed your family to be big and healthy like the fat lizard” #Proverb – All Lizards lie on their bellies but nobody knows which of them suffers from stomach ache. (#Abeokuta style of Alangba Berekete) #Adire #Batik #Textile #Fashion #AfricanTextile #AfricanFabric #IndigoDye #Yoruba #Lagos #Nigeria #Africa #AfricanProverb #Patterns #Lizard #Indigo #StorytellingThroughAdire #Blue #Art #AfricanArt #AdireEleko #NigerianArt

A photo posted by Adire Patterns (@adirepatterns) on Jan 28, 2015 at 3:40pm PST



#Ade (Crown) design #Adire #Batik #Lagos #Nigeria #Textile #Africa #africanart #africanfabric #Africantextile #Blue #indigo#Painting #Acrylic #AfricanProverb #AdireEleko #Ibadan #Yoruba #Proverb


A photo posted by Adire Patterns (@adirepatterns) on Mar 2, 2015 at 10:38am PST


With the collection of symbols on each piece of cloth, we start to see a story unfolding in this unique cross between art and functionality. If you are interested in African fabric design and in particular Adire patterns, I would definitely recommend this book. It is a great resource. I love the fact that each piece we make out of Adire gives you a small piece of a much larger story. A little portion of Yoruba history and wisdom!


Please check out Adire Patterns website for more information: www.adirepatterns.com

Adire Patterns Twitter handle: @AdirePatterns


The book is available in the following places.

ONLINE on Amazon STRANGER: 3 Hakeem Dickson, Lekki Phase One, Lagos, Nigeria QUINTESSENCE: Park View Estate Entrance, Off Gerrard Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria

This one needs no explanation for the web-designers out there. Pure geek, Love it!

This particular design is called HTeeML and from the Singaporean label Temasek Clothing. Be sure to check them out.

Yes we really do love our loyal customers. After purchasing the Olympic Bee Bag from our Etsy store, a lovely customer of ours came back with a request for three more Aso-oke totes. This time she wanted 3 different colour combinations and I was very much up for the challenge of finding these Aso-oke strips in these rich colours and seeing how they would work together.

The requirement was for the following:

1. Various shades of blue

2. Orange, burgundy and purple

3. Black, cranberry red and olive green ( we had to substitute the olive for forest green)


The three totes were gifts and the feedback has been great from gift-giver and recipients.

…. I wanted to personally thank you for the BEAUTIFUL job you did on the 3 custom totes. Each one is beautiful, I trusted you and you did not disappoint me. The blue tote was for my mom, the burgundy/black one for my sis and the orange/burgundy for my niece in college. They love the totes and my mom is out of control, she’s carried hers as a purse! I want to say many thanks for the wonderful work you do on everything in your shop. Take care until next time.

Thank you Rita for taking a chance, very happy that they were well received!


Yoo Shop WHERE: Barcelona COUNTRY: Spain WHEN: February 2015

Now that is what I call a vending machine! Talk about variety! Looks more like a shop than a vending machine to be honest. Open 24-7!

Check out my piece ‘From Lagos to London‘ for Black History Month on TAFA, where I am a member. Read about the Textile and Fibre Art List below.

TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List is a membership organization of fiber artists and textile businesses on the web.  TAFA showcases member portfolios through its website, provides access to larger markets, offers business resources and fosters community.

> Read more

I recently wrote about Blackbird Vintage store in Leeds in our Independent shops section and I am very excited that they now stock a selection of Supersnap clutches!

So if you are in that neck of the woods, do stop buy and pay them a visit. I am yet to visit but their store looks like a veritable treasure trove of design beauties!



ADDRESS: 7 Stainburn Parade, Leeds

TELEPHONE: 07949 115695


WEBSITE: www.blackbird-vintage.co.uk

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/blackbirdvintageleeds


Have you checked out our range of funky print and batik blazers? Well even if you haven’t here is one to have a look at. This one is the Brown Batik Blazer and the idea behind this wardrobe essential is simple. They come in a simple yet flattering cut and can be worn in a number of ways making them quite versatile.



The simple slightly loose fit is perfect if you are looking for the right African print jacket to add to your wardrobe. The blazer has 3/4 length sleeves and is also cropped in style. You can team with a pair of boots with a skirt and layer up during the cooler autumn/fall months. You could also rock your blazer with some skinny jeans and heels for a semi-formal look for a date or lunch out with the girls. Just a few options! That’s the beauty of it, you create you own look.


The gorgeous fabric is a handmade, hand-dyed fabric from southern Nigeria. The designs are painstakingly drawn by hand and dyed in various steps to achieve the layers of colour and pattern. It comes in a mix of browns, burnt orange and even hints of olive green.  Due to the organic nature of the fabric, no two jackets are exactly the same which I think is an added bonus. Your blazer will be truly unique to you!


The blazer is available here: www.urbanknit.com/shop/brown-batik-blazer in the following sizes:

UK 8/US 4/EUR 36 UK 10/US 6/EUR 38 UK 12/US 8//EUR 40 UK 14/US 10/EUR 42

So how would you style yours? Are you a converse and skirt kind of girl or a heels and skinny jeans glam chic?


Selfridges WHERE: London COUNTRY: United Kingdom WHEN: January 2015


This particular shop window display in Selfridges strangely enough reminds me of the insides of the market stalls that sell fabric in Balogun Market, Lagos Island in Nigeria. The mad yet orderly mix of colour and variety is usually the theme.


Eko Ile WHERE: Lagos Island, Lagos State COUNTRY: Nigeria WHEN: January, 2015

I love this week’s tee because of its simplicity. Ikoyi is also where my parents live in Lagos, Nigeria and where I can be found when I am in Lagos. The Ikoyi Tee  is one of a series of various place/city options for the tee which also include Ile-Ife, Bodija, Warri and more. There is something quite cool about the fact that the designs are on the back of the tee.

The series and other clever and cool designs by Mr Garbe can be found on Giddimint. Check them out here: www.giddimint.com.ng/store/Mr-Garbe