Posts tagged with ‘adire’

  • Adire Patterns: Story Telling Through Adire

    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.

    indigo batik shawl

    Indigo Red Batik Clutch

    Indigo Blue Batik Blazer

     

    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.

     

     

     

    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!


    FOR MORE INFORMATION:

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

    Adire Patterns Twitter handle: @AdirePatterns

    WHERE TO BUY THE BOOK:

    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
    By in Books to Read, Knowledge
    Urbanknit
  • Funky Brown African Batik Blazer

    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.

    Brown Batik Blazer

     

    STYLE TIPS:

    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.

    Brown Batik Blazer- Front

    THE FABRIC:

    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!

    Brown Batik Blazer

    BUY IT HERE:

    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?

     

    By in Our Products
    Urbanknit
  • Fabric of the Week: African Violet Batik

    This week’s fabric selection is anpther Adire  which is a handmade, hand-drawn batik fabric from Nigeria. This one has an abstract floral theme hence the name.

    Here’s what we did with it.

    1.  AFRICAN VIOLET BATIK TOTE

    African-Violet-Bee-Bag6

    2. AFRICAN VIOLET SHAWL

    African Violet Splash Shawl

    3. AFRICAN VIOLET MINISNAP CLUTCH

    African Violet Mini Snap Clutch

    By in Fabric of the week
    Urbanknit
  • Cool Tees Thursdays: OkayAfrica

     

    Following on from our post about Nike Davies-Okundaye, this weeks cool tee is from OkayPlayer and from her workshop by designer Yomi Tiamiyu.

    Using traditional Yoruba dye techniques involving native grown indigo, cassava paste, and a chicken feather (as a brush), these shirts communicate with their symbols. Talking Drum patterns indicate the spirit of communication. Kola Nut patterns remind us of the kola nut blessing – while the beginning is bitter, in the end it is sweet. As the fabrics are hand dyed each t-shirt is inevitably unique!

    The Adire Talking Shirt is available over on OkayAfrica.

     

     

    By in Cool Tees Thursday
    Urbanknit
  • Back In Stock: Lilac Petals Supersnap Clutch

    She’s baaaacccckkk. Said in a sing-songy voice. Well we listened to the feedback on the Lilac Petals Supersnap Clutch and have restocked this lovely clutch bag.

    The beauty we believe is in the detail as the large flower on the front of the purse is intricately embellished to give it that sparkly, dazzling look. Definitely a statement piece for that black tie event or dinner date!

     

    Do let is know what you think.
    Radiant-Orchid-Supersnap-Clutch1 Radiant-Orchid-Supersnap-Clutch3 Radiant-Orchid-Supersnap-Clutch

     

    And as we often like to do we have come up with a dream outfit with accessorised with the this dazzling clutch. It works well with soft pastels and pinks. If you want to get the look check out our Polyvore page.

    Radiant Orchid Supersnap

     

     

     

    By in Our Products
    Urbanknit
  • African Fabric for Sale

    You can get a range of unique Ankara (African wax print) and Adire (hand-dyed, handmade tie dye) fabric shipped right to your door!

     

    By in Fabulous Finds
    Urbanknit
  • Just In: Indigo Red Batik Supersnap Clutch

    This is an oldie revisited. The popular Indigo Red supersnap is making a reappearance due to popular demand. It is embellished with bright red buttons and lined internally with bright red cotton fabric.

    Indigo and red make such a great combination.

    Definitely a statement piece. Dress up your summer dress or add some colour to your jeans and t-shirt look! I

    Indigo Red Batik Clutch

     

    By in Our Products
    Urbanknit
  • Want to Buy African Fabric?!

    It is pretty clear I LOVE batik aka Adire aka tie dye fabric.

    Soooooooo, I also realise you love it too and I have opened an ETSY store to provide you with some unique finds from across the African continent.

    We will continually add new pieces as we get them.

    So check out our current stash over on Urbanstax. There is currently Adire and Ankara in-store.

    Let me know what you think!

    By in The Store and Studio
    Urbanknit
  • Introducing Adire

    Àdìre

    Adire pronounced (pronounced ah-d-reh) is the indigo dyed cloth made predominantly by Yoruba women in South-West Nigeria. The fabric is produced using a range of resist dye techniques. There are several techniques used to make adire ranging from tieing and stitching the areas that will resist the dye, to the use of wax for the same purpose. Additional methods also include hand-painted or stenciled designs directly onto cloth. The word Adire is now used more generically to refer to various resist dye fabrics in Nigeria.

    Adire Blue

    Traditional Adire

    Modern Adire

    Modern Adire

    Indigo in West Africa

    Indigo was the basis of numerous textile traditions throughout West Africa. Indigo in West Africa was obtained from local plant sources, either indigofera or lonchocarpus cyanescans and transforming the raw material into a dye was a complex process requiring great expertise.  The art of indigo dyed cloth was a highly valuable skill passed on by specialist dyers from generation to generation. From the Tuareg nomads of the Sahara to Cameroon, Senegal and Mali indigo cloth signified wealth, abundance and fertility. Among the Hausa of Northern Nigeria, where the export trade in prestige textiles was highly organised, male dyers working at communal dye pits were the basis of the wealth of the ancient city of Kano. Sadly this has seen a fast decline due to cheap imports from Asia as well as the unrest and violence experienced in the region. Watch this BBC piece on the current situation.

    Kano Dye pits

    Kano Dye pits Image courtesy of BBC News

     

    I find the various dyeing techniques quite interesting as they involve threading, stitching and tying the fabric similar to the Japanese Shibori methods of tie dye.  Shibori is a Japanese term for several methods of dyeing cloth with a pattern by binding, stitching, folding, twisting, compressing it, or capping. They have beautiful names such as Kanoko shibori, Itajime shiboriMiura shibori, Kumo shibori and Nui shibori. Each of these describes a specific method used to achieve a certain result. In Japan, the earliest known example of cloth dyed with a shibori technique is said to date from the 8th century. Check out this wonderful blog that features a daily post on various Japanese textiles- www.dailyjapanesetextile.wordpress.com/

     

     

    Mino Shibori Juban

    Mino Shibori style used on man’s juban
    Image courtesy of dailyjapanesetextile.wordpress.com

     

    Looking through books and images, there are so many similarities between some of the traditional Japanese fabrics and the Nigerian ones I grew up wearing.

     

    Adire

     

    As with most things, there is now a modern twist to tie and dye fabric especially in West Africa. Adire is not quite as popular as the ubiquitous African Wax Print but I am one of the many champions of the cause! Check out how we’ve mixed up the gorgeous fabric here on Urbanknit.

    Are you a fan of the traditional style of indigo? Or do you adore brightly coloured modern Adire? Share your thoughts!

     

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    By in Knowledge
    Urbanknit
  • Just In: Indigo Citrus Batik Blazer

    Brand new for you this new month is our new batik blazer. If you liked the blue Indigo version, you’ll like this one too. The Indigo Citrus blazer comes in the same cut but with a re-edit of the batik fabric. For those that want an added splash of colour to the palette, this one features hints of orange and green.

    Available in the sizes: UK 8, 10, 12 and 14

    Let us know what you think.

    Have a great week ahead and here’s to a great July!

    Urbanknit