Indigo Dyed Yardage | ADIRE 1


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THIS LISTING IS FOR A 4.5 YARD CONTINUOUS PIECE OF FABRIC (the artist starts with a 5 yard piece, which then shrinks once the dyeing process is complete).

We were lucky enough to procure several pieces of hand made and dyed cotton yardage and t-shirts by renown Nigerian textile artist Gasali Adeyemo, which we are offering exclusively through our website.

Gasali uses the traditional tie-dye, stitching and resistance techniques of Nigeria on his pieces. The fabric is called “Guinea cotton,” which is 100% white cotton brocade, and you can see the woven pattern from certain angles. For this piece, Gasali first painted the white fabric with a resistance paste made from yucca, a process called Adire. Once dry, he dips the piece in indigo dye about 15 times to reach the perfect shade of deep blue, then scrapes the paste off to reveal the final pattern. Since it is so labor intensive, one 5 yard piece can take months to complete.

The yardage is a work of art in itself, but can be used for pillows, upholstery, napkins or clothing, and many designers purchase Gasali’s famous textiles to use in their own work. As it is dyed with natural indigo, the yardage will sometimes have small bits of dried indigo plant still on it, which comes off with the first washing.

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Size + Details

Width: 51”
Length: About 4.5" yards

Care + Wear 

This yardage is hand dyed using the indigo plant. Set dye before wearing/using by soaking in mixture of 2 tbs salt in 4 gallons of water. Hand wash in cool water and air dry.

About Indigo

Plant-derived 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 the Artist

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.