Indigo Dye Workshop | Gasali Adeyemo


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*Only 5 Spots Available*
**All NY Taxes Will be Refunded. Workshop not eligible for discounts.**

2-Day Workshop : Dates + Description

Saturday, June 9 + Sunday, June 10, 2018
10am - 6pm (lunch included both days)
*The Workshop will be held in the Fleabags Studio in Brooklyn, New York, 11232*

In this 2-Day Workshop, 5 students will explore traditional Nigerian Indigo dyeing, Adire (yucca paste resist) and Tie-Dye printing techniques while learning about the arts and culture of the Yoruba people from a master craftsman. Students will experiment with intricate hand drawn patterns and deep indigo colors to create their own shirts, fabric and scarves.
Since the size of the class is small, this is an opportunity to get a lot of one-on-one help + attention from Gasali!

Adire Eleko is the process of creating designs using cassava paste (also called yucca), a small broom, and a chicken feather.  Gasali will teach 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. Gasali will show the students both methods. After the designs are created the students learn how to prepare the indigo and use it to dye their work. Finally, students will learn how to remove the cassava from their work. Muslin fabric will be provided for this project.

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. Gasali will teach the students both Tie-Dye techniques as well as how to dye the fabric and remove the raffia. Students are asked to bring their own item to Tie Dye. Suggested items include a t-shirt, yardage or silk scarf.

We will be using Nigerian Indigo for this workshop. Indigo has been used as a dye in Africa for at least 2000 years. The Yoruba name for indigo is “elu”. Throughout Nigerian history 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.

About Gasali

GASALI ADEYEMO is the third born of five from a small rural village, Ofatedo, located in Osun State Nigeria. His mother is a trader and his father, a farmer. Although his family was rich in spirit and culture, they were poor in capital and Gasali sponsored his own education at St. George Elementary and Ido Osun High School. From a very young age, he realized his artistic potential and he would attend social gatherings, such as weddings, naming and burial ceremonies, and other cultural parties where he offered to sketch portraits of the guests for a small donation. His sketching career combined with long, hard days working on the village farms provided adequate income to successfully complete his academic education through high school.

Gasali discovered the Nike Center for Arts and Culture in 1990, where he remained for a total of six years. The first two years of his experience at the Nike Center was spent mastering the arts of batik painting on fabric, indigo dyeing, quilt making, embroidery, appliqué, and batik painting on rice paper. During the following four years, he spent long days teaching these skills to incoming students at the Nike Center.

Eventually, the popularity of the Nike Center grew and hundreds of people came to Osogbo, Nigeria, from all over the world to study and enrich their knowledge and understanding of the arts and culture of the Yoruba people. Gasali spent much of his time conducting workshops and training these people in the crafts of his culture.

In 1995, his artwork was exhibited in Bayreuth, Germany, alongside the work of five other artists from Nigeria. His work made quite an impact, and many people traveled to Osogbo looking for the artist named Gasali. People who were exposed to his work later commissioned him to do quilt work and his artistic career began to blossom.

In 1996, Gasali was invited to the University of Iowa to do a series of exhibitions and workshops. Once there, the Octagon Gallery in Ames, Iowa, took notice of his work and offered to exhibit it. He was also invited to work with a group of teenagers doing storytelling and art workshops to share with them the traditions of his Yoruba culture. 

These experiences in Iowa opened the door to greater opportunities. He has traveled the world conducting workshops and exhibitions. His recent workshops include the World Batik Conference, Cross Culture Collaborative Inc., Snow Farm, and Fiber Arts Center. In the future, he plans to continue to travel worldwide, sharing the arts and culture of the Yoruba people of Nigeria. Gasali currently resides in Santa Fe, NM.


All class materials, including muslin fabric for Adire dyeing + to practice new techniques, will be provided to each student. However, for their final Tie Dye project, each student should bring up to 2 yards (weighing no more than 2 lbs total ) of fabric/clothing to dye. Only natural fibers (cotton, silk, linen or wool) can be placed in the dye bath. Suggested items include yardage, t-shirt or silk scarf. 

Lunch will be provided both days (please notify us if you have any allergies, etc). Students are encouraged to bring their own snacks and drinks if they desire.

Please wear clothing and shoes that you can get dye on- this is a hands-on experience!

If you have any questions about the workshop or materials, please email