Continuing Textile Traditions: Indigo Around the World

November 19, 2022

Indigo has been used  to dye textiles for thousands of years, spanning cultures and continents. The blue produced by indigo is recognized and beloved worldwide, while the plant processing methods and textile designs produced in various cultures are quite diverse. WARP’s November panel discussion featured contemporary textile artists who work within various indigo traditions.

Gasali Adeyemo was born in the village of Ofatedo, Nigeria. His mother was his first teacher in learning the traditional arts of the Yoruba Tribe, and in 1990 he attended the Nike Center for Arts and Culture, where for 6 years he studied traditional Yoruba batik, adire eleko, tie-dye and indigo. Gasali now travels worldwide teaching and exhibiting his work, sharing the arts and culture of the Yoruba people of Nigeria. 

Hanga Yoshihara-Horvath is an embroidery artist living in Tokushima Prefecture. She combines age-old Japanese indigo dyeing techniques with the embroidery techniques of her home country, Hungary, to create new fabric designs drawing on tradition. 

Ignacio Netzahualcoyotl Nava is a Mexican artist and textile craftsman whose work reflects regional iconography and pre-Hispanic symbolism typical of his Contla municipality of Juan Cuamatzi, a Nahua indigenous community in the state of Tlaxcala. Through traditional weaving & dyeing methods, Ignacio demonstrates respectful use of  natural resources, as well as cultural protection of the techniques that have existed in woven serape and other Mexican garments for generations. 

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