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Looking gorgeous in Adire


Adire, a resist-dyed fabric, originally produced and worn by the Yoruba, has warmed itself into the hearts of fashion lovers, designers and those that set the pace in the fashion world. What is more? It is not showing any sign of going away.

Adire, which means, “Tied and dyed,” was first applied to indigo-dyed cloth, decorated with resist patterns around the turn of the 20th century. Designers adore this modish fabric because it is African, makes one feel at home and celebrates the local culture.


Nowadays, both young and old designers are mixing and matching Adire with other beautiful fabrics to create unique and modern styles. Fashion forward women are adorning this fabric and looking chic in different styles and designs. Even the men are not left out, as they have also embraced and often step out looking debonair in well-tailored Adire outfits.

Edi Ekhomu, the founder/creative director of Kaye Culture, Lagos, who loves to work with Adire, explained that the idea of using a variety of resist-dyeing techniques is to ensure that the fabric retains its vibrant colours after wash. Abeokuta, Ibadan and Osogbo are the cities well known for the production of Adire in Nigeria.

According to her, wearing Adire is a thing of national pride because the fabric, which now comes in different attractive designs, enables beautiful and indigenously designed styles. She said: “As a proud Nigerian, being able to walk around in the artistic expression of the local artisans feels so amazing. And though Adire started in the Southwest, it has now gained global acclaim. Interestingly, world acclaimed designers, such as Dior and Louis Vuitton, among others, are also into the use of Adire, which they experiment with other fabrics to create lovely designs. It has also re-emerged locally in the last two years. 


“Especially with the batik type of Adire, each stroke is hand crafted. Something about that should make any woman feel special and proud of our rich heritage. It is simply amazing the hours of work and craftsmanship that go into the fabric to create works of art that can allow a person accentuate certain features. I believe the level of craftsmanship is pretty impressive.

“One of the beauties of Adire is that it can be customised, as opposed to other fabrics that are mass produced; hence very common. The uniqueness of Adire allows the wearer to stand out and be more expressive of his/her unique style. No two Adire pieces are exactly the same, unless it is a digital print. The same original print can manifest in different ways, depending on the fabric- it can be darker, lighter, and some colours may pop up more. This can be very exciting for designers and consumers alike. 

“Adire fabric can be made into skirts, jackets, skirts, dresses and other lovely styles. When going for Adire dresses, ensure you get the right fit and wear with nice heels and a lovely bag to give you that great look. To look sassy in Adire dress, accentuate your waist with a nice belt and you are ready to hit the road in style.”


In this article:
AdireGeraldine Akutu
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