Saturated: Dye-Decorated Cloths from North and West Africa

August 16, 2013 to October 12, 2014 | Level 3

Saturated: Dye-Decorated Cloths from North and West Africa focuses on and celebrates the dyer’s art from North and West Africa, including the countries of Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, and Cameroon. Drawn primarily from the DMA’s collection, this exhibition presents eleven dye-decorated cloths produced by traditional techniques and worn as garments or accessories. Before the introduction of European manufactured printed textiles to Africa in the 19th century, textile designs were made with natural dyes on plain homespun cotton, wool, raffia, or other materials. Women were most often the dyers, and dye-decorated cloth was a major form of feminine artistic expression.

Admission is FREE

Touch please! In the designated hands-on section of Saturated, you can explore the different ways cloth is treated to resist dye and create the designs you see in the gallery. See and touch examples of textiles before and after the resist-dyeing process. Have you ever seen a ball of indigo? Take a look at our indigo ball and watch a video about the production of adire—cloths hand-dyed with Indigo.

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Press

Africa Fashion Guide