Object Timeline


  • Work on this object began.


  • Work on this object ended.



  • You found it!


This is a Textile. It is dated mid- 20th century and we acquired it in 2017. Its medium is cotton and its technique is tied- and stitched-resist (adire), indigo dyed. It is a part of the Textiles department.

This wrapper was purchased in the Kemta Adire International Market in Abeokuta, the capital of the state of Ogun in Nigeria. It is the largest adire market in Africa, and is over one hundred years old. Like the craft of adire itself, the market stalls are passed on from generation to generation.
In the 19th century, Abeokuta was a center of cotton production. At that time, adire was made using handspun, handwoven cotton and natural indigo dye, but as British imports became available, women came to prefer the smooth texture of machine-woven cotton shirting fabrics, as they allowed greater refinement in the designs.
Adire refers to a type of West African indigo resist-dyeing. Patterns are tied or stitched into cotton cloth with a needle and raffia fiber. Sometimes small stones, seeds or shells are bound into the cloth to create shaped rings. When dipped in indigo, the raffia resists the penetration of the dye and the stitching is recorded as a delicate tracery of white forms on a deep-blue background. In the marketplace, the raffia threads are left in place to assure the buyer that the fabric is authentically hand-stitched and not a printed imitation.
Adire cloths are relatively inexpensive and worn by Yoruba women as hip wrappers, blouses and head wraps.

It is credited Gift of Peggy Rogers in memory of her husband Glenn.

Its dimensions are

H x W: 175.1 × 99.4 cm (5 ft. 8 15/16 in. × 39 1/8 in.)

Cite this object as

Textile; cotton; H x W: 175.1 × 99.4 cm (5 ft. 8 15/16 in. × 39 1/8 in.); Gift of Peggy Rogers in memory of her husband Glenn; 2017-73-2

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian’s Terms of Use page.

For higher resolution or commercial use contact ArtResource.

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1108963027/ |title=Textile |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=29 May 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>