The Adire fabric industry would fare better in local and international markets if it got more patronage from young people, Joel Afolabi, avant-garde fabric designer has said.
Adire (tie and dye) textile is the indigo–dyed cloth made in southwestern Nigeria by Yoruba women, using a variety of resist-dyeing techniques.
In an interview with newsmen on Friday, May 17, 2019, Afolabi, who focuses on making Adire attractive to young people, said the industry would fail if youth-friendly designs are not considered.
According to him, people often associate Adire to the older generations and there are not enough discussions or showcase of the product in pop culture to attract the younger market.
Afolabi also stated that he started his fabric design company, Otibrainz textiles to introduce avant-garde and modern ways young people can wear Adire and batik, leading to market expansion.
According to him, “Almost all wearable art piece can now be made with Adire fabrics. My aim is to renovate the age-long Adire and batik patterns into contemporary styles. I hope to attract youths, both locally and internationally; and draw the interest of the masses to wear them. Some of the modern styles include, Adire and batik jackets, hoodies, shirts, shorts, joggers, jackets, gowns, skirts, scarfs amongst others”.
On the inspiration behind his textile works, the Ogun state-indigene traced his talents to his hometown. Ogun State is globally regarded as the home of Adire fabrics.
He said, “I’m glad I’m from Ogun-State and I can channel my design inspiration to the trainings I got from my mentors and coach from Adire market at Itoku, Abeokuta. I got more Inspiration to create new designs through consistent follow up with my mentors at Itoku market in Abeokuta. Abeokuta still remains the home of Adire fabrics and I have a good percentage of my textile knowledge from there. As much as a lot of designers are making efforts to join in the Adire growth and campaign. The Adire market at Itoku is known globally as the major point of Adire production in Nigeria. The signing in of ‘The Adire Ogun’ seal of authentication at the just concluded African Drum festival leaves a birth mark of its origin to be traced to Ogun State”.