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Adire Wrapper (Gambia)

This is a Adire wrapper. It is dated ca. 1990 and we acquired it in 1993. Its medium is cotton and its technique is factory-woven satin damask, machine stitched-resist patterning, indigo-dyed. It is a part of the Textiles department.

Singer treadle sewing machines were introduced to West Africa around the turn of the last century, and were quickly adapted to the creation of adire fabrics, which were in high demand for women’s wrappers and everyday apparel. For many years machine adire was made by male tailors, but today both men and women use the technique. Imported cotton shirting fabrics are pleated by hand, and between two and four rows of stitching are made near the folds, creating straight or curving lines or dashes. The technique is most suitable for linear designs, but the quality of line can be quite varied. This cloth uses a damask-patterned foundation cloth for an added layer of visual complexity.

It is credited Museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund.

Our curators have highlighted 5 objects that are related to this one. Here are three of them, selected at random:

  • Scarf (Japan)
  • silk.
  • Museum purchase from Smithsonian Institution Collections Acquisition Program....
  • 1998-18-1

Its dimensions are

H x W: 143.5 × 131.9 cm (56 1/2 × 51 15/16 in.)

Cite this object as

Adire Wrapper (Gambia); cotton; H x W: 143.5 × 131.9 cm (56 1/2 × 51 15/16 in.); Museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund; 1993-136-2

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition David Adjaye Selects: Works from the Permanent Collection.

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

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Adire Wrapper (Gambia) |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=8 December 2022 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>