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Adire Fabric

 

Making Adire 

Toomey & Koko designs are made from Adire fabrics, which use a resist-dyeing technique native to southwestern Nigeria. The tradition of resist-dyeing using indigo and other natural dyes goes back centuries in west Africa and there are many different methods and techniques. Here’s how we make Toomey & Koko’s fabrics...

 

Step 1

First, we decide on the pattern and design. It isn’t just about what looks good – many patterns and colours carry cultural meaning and significance.

 

Step 2

Then we pre-wash the fabric and let it dry. Because we use high-quality, 100% cotton fabrics, this is an important step to remove any starch before dyeing.

 

Step 3

If we’re using multiple colours in our design, this is when we may dye using the first colour.

 

Step 4

Then we sketch our pattern onto the fabric and use a customised sponge tip applicator dipped in melted candle wax to draw our pattern on the fabric.

 

Step 5

Once the wax has dried, we place the fabric into the dye and soak it so that it takes on a deep, rich colour. The wax-covered areas won’t take on the dye and will stay the original fabric colour.


Step 6

We then wash the fabric in boiling hot water several times to melt off the wax, before immediately plunging it into cold water to rinse off the dried-on wax.

 

Step 7

If we’re making multiple colours or designs, we repeat steps 4-6 – otherwise, we apply starch to the fabric before hanging and drying it.

 

Step 8

Now the final pattern can be seen and the finished fabric is ready to be worn in all its bright, bold beauty. Enjoy!

 

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