Nigerian Design Patterns: Intro

Design according to Victor Papanek (Whom I’m currently enamoured by) is a conscious effort to impose meaningful order. It is broad enough to cover a lot of areas but succinct. The place called Nigeria, my country is one which captures over 200 cultures and languages, the vastness in relation to design is amazing. Because of this, I will be focusing on artifacts in a specific area at a time, right now, it’s all about clothing and textile.

I have been researching and I will be writing an in-depth post of textile design; why and how clothing was/is designed in different cultures, the meaning, implications, effects and how they matter for us in the present and future.

Another piece of the work is in digitizing some of these patterns for preservation, and communication in ways beyond clothing and textile.

These are some Adire textile patterns with their meanings, courtesy: Chief Nike Davies

“Adire are indigo resist dyed cotton cloths that were made by women throughout Yorubaland in south-western Nigeria. Resist-dyeing involves creating a pattern by treating certain parts of the fabric in some way to prevent them absorbing dye. Some of the clothing used to be handpainted with patterns that very important meanings”


All illustrations are done in Omnigraffle. Cheers.

7 thoughts on “Nigerian Design Patterns: Intro

  1. I totally back this motion to begin digitising and the Nigerian heritage in this way. We’ve historically being bad at recording our culture, while also eroding our own sense of identity by way of over-importing lots of foreign ways of life. I’d be keen to see what other ideas you capture within this Nigerian design journal.

    • Thanks for the encouragement! We have so much to offer ourselves and the world instead of relying only on western paradigms of design. I think this will help the cause. Please, your ideas are welcome too.

  2. I am currently raiding my mother’s closet and writing about African textiles in my new blog I’m glad I’ve found someone else writing about African textiles!

  3. Pingback: Nigerian Design Patterns: Akwete | Antonia Writes

  4. Pingback: Omnigraffle Vs Adobe Illustrator | Antonia Writes

  5. Pingback: Nigerian textile search & Moodboard, Yuling Liao’s Week 03 PPJ – Interactive Display

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