Yoruba Adire, Tie-Dye & Batik with Gasali Adeyemo 2008.10.06-10

Gasali Onireke Adeyemo, born in Ofatedo in Osun State Nigeria, studied for two years at the Nike Centre for Arts and Culture the traditional Yoruba techniques of Adire and Tie-Dye, along with batik painting on fabric, indigo dyeing, quilt making, embroidery, appliqué and batik painting on rice paper.

Gasali then spent another four years at the Nike Centre passing on his learned skills to incoming students.

I was fortunate to be a student for a week of this quiet and unassuming man who thouroughly enjoyed sharing his knowledge of the several traditional Yoruba techniques covered over five days.

Yoruba Adire Sampler

We dabbled in Adire, the process of creating designs with cassava (yucca) paste, a small broom and a chicken feather.  Cassava can be applied by stencil or by hand.  After drying, the piece is dipped in Indigo or dye and the cassava paste is removed leaving a resist pattern.

Yoruba Tie-Dye Sampler

There are two different techniques in the process of Tie-Dye using raffia.  Stitch resist is when raffia is sewn with a needle into fabric to create design.  The second process uses raffia and sometimes assorted seeds or other small items to tie designs into fabric by hand.  Once the designs have been created, the fabric is dyed and dried before the raffia is taken out to show off the resist patterns.  My ‘Alakete’ spiral design, also know as ‘Fila” hat design, mysteriously disappeared in the dye process.  Lesson learned: make sure to take the time to identify once piece(s) before throwing into the communal dye pot.

Yoruba Batik – Adire Type Design Sampler

Adire alabela, meaning wax resist, is the Yoruba tribe’s version of batik.  Using wood stamps, stencils, or foam rubber either beeswax or paraffin wax is applied to the fabric.  The fabric is then dyed and the process is repeated with the next colour, or not.  I found using the foam rubber quite versatile and freeing.

In the course we used paraffin wax and then boiled out the wax in hot water.

We had a choice of several dye colours or using a natural Indigo vat.  In all three pieces I started off with white.  With the flowers I then dyed the whole piece fuschia and overdyed blue at the top and red at the bottom.  The green piece was overdyed with blue to get a darker green.

Yoruba Batik Garden

Yoruba Batik Ocean

I enjoyed this course immensely.

29 Responses to Yoruba Adire, Tie-Dye & Batik with Gasali Adeyemo 2008.10.06-10

  1. obalaye femi says:

    Pls if I want to learn were can I see you,I’m from maiduguri

    • admin says:

      Hi There, my suggestion is to contact the Nike Centre in order to get more information on Gasali Onireke Adeyemo who is the one that was teaching the course.

  2. Roslyn Fassett says:

    I have tried to dye fabric with designs of cassava paste. With both hot and cold dye the cassava lifted off, the designs disappearing. Can something be added to the
    cassava paste, to make it stick while dyeing? Thanks for your help!

    • admin says:

      Hi There, I am not an expert. When I used warm cassava paste, I let my piece dry before I dipped it in the indigo vat. If not careful, the cassava paste will come off in the vat. Then the cassava paste was sraped off and the piece rinsed and dried.

      • Roslyn Fassett says:

        Thank you for your reply. do you add copper sulphate or alum
        to the boiled cassava paste? Is the dye hot or cold? the entire
        decoration (cassava) lifted off when dyed. How sad!
        roslyn fassett

        • Babson Ajibade says:

          Hi there Roslyn, sad that your designs went off. What you need do is make the paste less thick, so that it can actually penetrate the fabric. Then let the paste designs dry completely on the fabric before dyeing. Be sure not to leave the fabric in the dye bath for too long, so that the past does not lose its resist capacity and then the dye is let into it. I think this should work well.
          Cheers

  3. Lorraine says:

    Hello Gasali Onireke Adeyem

    I love your designs and look forward to seeing more in the future. I read a book written by Kim Maria Vaz about the life of the Batik Artist Nike Davies. An interesting read. please can you provide some names of the best known books on Adire design/techniques, history, motifs/symbols.

    I am studying a BA Hons. in design and my subject is about ‘Adire’. Traditional Textile Art.

    Lorraine Hinds

    Looking forward to your responce.

    Lorraine Hinds

  4. Lorraine Hinds says:

    Hello Gasali Onireke Adeyem

    I love your designs and look forward to seeing more in the future. I read a book written by Kim Maria Vaz about the life of the Batik Artist Nike Davies. An interesting read. please can you provide some names of the best known books on Adire design/techniques, history, motifs/symbols.

    I am studying a BA Hons. in design and my subject is about ‘Adire’. Traditional Textile Art.

    Looking forward to your responce.

    Lorraine Hinds

    • admin says:

      My name is Angie and a student myself. I don’t know very much about this subject. Gasali Onirek Adeyem was the teacher of the course I was taking. My suggestion would be to google the subject for more information.

  5. Adeyemo Bilyaminu says:

    Nice Apparel…..!

  6. becky says:

    I am having the same problem. I am using regular flour. Do you need to use Cassava?

    • admin says:

      Resist paste needs to dry thouroughly before dying. Tbe paste has to be thouroughly dry, overnight or longer. You can only dip fabrics with resist paste on them in cold dye for a short period as yes, the paste will come off in the water, and it does not last at all in hot water and will ruin your dye bath.
      I’ve never heard of using regular flour before except for paper mache when salt is added to it. However, I am not a resist expert.

  7. Am a lecturer in Obafemi Awolowo University who have a passion for Batik since i was young. I think its high time our government give it the recognation it deserves as a revenue generation sector as its been done in Asia. Again, we lovers of this tradition should come together to promote it well. Will live to be part of such development. Visit my site to see a little of my work.
    Thanks

  8. My site is http://www.facebook.com/kennygeeafrik. This site is temporary till the original one is ready. Do get in touch for collaboration

  9. AWODIYA OLAMIDE says:

    AM A STUDENT OF JOSEPH AYO BABALOLA UNIVERSITY,AM WRITTING ON ADIRE IN OSOGBO BTW 1979 TO 1999 AND I LOVE UR WORK ON ADIRE PLS HELP ME WIF THE PROJECT OR CALL ME ON 08052408601.THANKS 4 UR USUAL COPERATION

  10. AWODIYA OLAMIDE says:

    PLS CALL ME,WE NEED TO TALK

    • admin says:

      Hi There, my suggestion is to contact the Nike Centre in order to get more information on Gasali Onireke Adeyemo who is the one that was teaching the course. I am also a student and am not sure I can help you. I will definitely not be calling you as that would cost too much money.

  11. Renee says:

    I want to purchase adire cloth and have not been able to find a reasonable source. only museums and ebay. do you know a contact in Nigeria?

  12. Folaranmi folasade says:

    Pls where can I get to buy adire materials? I want to be selling

  13. I am inspired with Gasali Adeyemo’s ideas and effort in relation to batik and tie-dye.Please i will to know his date birth it not included in his biography. thank you i am a textile Artist University of Benin.

  14. gyasiwaa nyaumuwi says:

    would like your contact information to take a class please thank you.

    • Angie says:

      I am not currently teaching classes. My phone number is listed on the static page and you can contact me any time in the future by sending me a commment.

  15. FATIMAH OYENIKE AIYEGBAJEJE says:

    Agood informatio welldone for promoting our local fabric. i make adire and sells too. am based in abeokuta i av learnt more on your web. thank u.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *