Mon | Dec 11, 2023

A confluence of colours and cultures

Published:Sunday | December 4, 2022 | 12:08 AM
A tie dye dress
A tie dye dress
A Jadire designed jacket.
A Jadire designed jacket.

Dania Bennett, JBDC staff member models unique tie dye piece.
Dania Bennett, JBDC staff member models unique tie dye piece.

Art is an expression of beauty, and when intertwined with culture,produces rich artefacts that tell the story of a nation. Jamaica traces its rich cultural and artistic expressions to its African foreparents.

The confluence of these two cultures continues to be a proclamation of their rich history. Perhaps more than any art form, textile reflects the culture from which one comes, and through fashion, communicates a sense of identity. Jadire known as (Jamaica Adire) was coined by combining the name Jamaica with the Yoruba word ‘ adire’, which means tie and dye. Traditional adire textile is an indigo-dyed cloth made from southwest Nigeria by Yoruba women using a variety of resist-dyeing techniques. Jadire textiles are seen as a viable means by which the rich Jamaican cultural heritage and ideas can be conveyed to other cultures of the world, just as the Yoruba of Nigeria did with tie dye/batik textiles prints.t


Last month, the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) showcased the successful creation of the tie dye/batik textile industry with its feature event – Festival of the Cloth “JADIRE”– held at the JBDC Incubator & Resource Centre in Kingston.

Over the past four years, Nigeria has facilitated several training interventions through their technical aid corps. The showcase saw a display of pieces done by persons who have completed training in designing and producing printed textiles as well as value-added products such as apparel, bags, and soft furnishings.

Exhibitors included Nella Stewart, Charmaine Brown, Jacqueline Mason-Reid, Cameil Sinclair, and Simone Gordon Celia Williams. Alao Luqman Omotaya, Nigerian representative and trainer with the JBDC, said, “We know that the use of adire in sustaining or expressing the cultural identity of a people will further enhance Jamaica’s cultural expression on the global stage.”

Colin Porter, manager of technical services at the JBDC, said, “We hope that through the launching and establishment of the tie dye/batik cottage industry in Jamaica that entrepreneurs within the fashion industry would be provided with opportunities not only to create clothes, but be the creators of textiles with unique Jamaican styles.”

“Ultimately, we want to see the full establishment of this industry as a viable entrepreneurial activity,” Porter said.