You would agree with me that we are in the most fashion conscious generation yet and as much as it is somewhat crazy and often incredulous, this is very good I must add. Levels of creativity, fashion consciousness and the attention to details have been tuned up to 110 percent. Styles are evolving, rules are being broken and norms are being questioned. These days, we now have countless bloggers,designers,stylists,retailers,merchandisers,’wearers’,’instagrammers’.In short, the Nigerian fashion industry is growing in leaps and bounds.
Like I earlier said, as a player in the industry, this is fantastic.
In Nigeria ironically, we have over 180 million fashion conscious Nigerians yet no single textile industry that designs or produces fabric. Fashion ideally should be driven and influenced by a vibrant and functional textile industry. That is hardly the case these days. We instead go to patronage all things foreign…
This in itself is gist for another time.
For this collection, I simply wanted it to be indigenous. I wanted them to be me trusting and believing in the future of our textile industry to produce a collection that would be seen and appreciated from Nigeria to the world. I wanted to accentuate our local methods of designing fabrics and a little bit of experimentation here and there. I wanted to do the collection with faith in what our Nigerian Textile Industry would be.
I decided on using:
- Adire (tie-dye)
- Batik (wax resist)
- Woven fabric done on an inkle loom
- Plaited yeye wool (or baby wool as it is locally referred to)
and some fabric painting…
The first step was to decide the fabrics I would use. As all the designs would be done by me, I needed just white fabric for everything. After a lot of deliberation, I decided on using 100% cotton ,linen, denim(to throw In some pizzazz in there, yeah*smiles*) and chiffon.
The chiffon was suggested to me by my tutor. She suggested I try my hands on it if it would absorb dye.(only been used to dyeing cotton).Was skeptical at first with taking that risk but it eventually did well with dye. They came ‘uuhmazzing’!!.
I did majority of the purchases at OJAOBA FABRIC MARKET,AKURE save for the the cotton fabric,dyes, chemicals and wax I got from Osogbo.
For three straight weeks, I made the studio my home. Day and Night,24/7 I was always at the studio except for the times I went to change my clothes, eat or watch football.
I was determined to put in every ounce of me into ensuring the fabrics came out as I had envisaged them in the idea phase.
The methods I used in the tie dye were
In my previous post about inspiration, I spoke about being inspired by pebbles and bamboos. The motifs I used for the Batiks were bordered on these two elements.
I did some plain dyeing also, especially for the chiffon (I tried applying the batik method the chiffon fabric, it was a disaster)
I also did a little weaving on an inkle loom.A strap I planned on using for one of the dresses, the fabric was to be used.
For another piece, I plaited/braided ‘baby’ wool(as though a girls hair) and I sewed the individual braids side by side on chiffon fabric so it becomes a single entity.
Pause for a moment…not everything looked all spick,span and well thought out like i would expected oo.
Truthfully, most of these textile design techniques eventually came out as I planned, some didn’t and some amazing things and colours emerged out of serendipity. I made countless errors,mismanaged cash,wasted fabric and so on and it was a risk that was worth the while.
When the fabrics were ready,the next step was to cut them using the patterns I had drafted and commence sewing.
For me the hardest part had come…
Until next time…