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Wrapper  (adire)
Date: Mid-late 20th century
Medium: Cotton, indigo
Dimensions: H x W: 87 x 194.5 cm (34 1/4 x 76 9/16 in.)
Credit Line: The Wil and Irene Petty Collection
Geography: Nigeria
Object Number: 2008-5-83
Search Terms:
geometric motif
lizard
Object is not currently on exhibit

Ordinary commercially woven cloth is transformed by hand dying with locally made indigo dye. To create the elaborate patterns of adire the artist blocks the dye from reaching the surface of the cloth. This is done by painting or stenciling with a starch such as cassava paste, or by tying or sewing knots and seams. This pattern features overall repeating geometric and lizard patterns. Adire was first produced in quantity in the late nineteenth century, with production dwindling by World War II. The 1960s saw a revived interest in adire with new patterns, and new uses superseding the original use as women's wrappers.

Indigo dyed cloth wrapper with repeating pattern of 4 squares. 3 squares feature geometric patterns and one square features a lizard. The left and right edges are machine finished. A twill tape tag that reads "Nigeria 276" is hand sewn to the top left verso.

Irene M. Petty, Silver Spring, Maryland, ca. 1970 to 2005


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