An ancient fiber art of the Yoruba people, Indigo dye techniques are applied to fabric to produce intricate, bold and striking textiles. Hand stitching, tie-dye and strip weaving further enhance the intricate designs. Indigo, a vibrant blue dye from the indigoferatinctoria plant family is derived by boiling, steeping and fermenting the leaves. Once immersed into the dye, the fabric remains white until it is removed from its dye bath and comes into contact with the air.
Born in the village of Offatedo in Osun State, Nigeria, Gasali has mastered the arts of indigo dyeing, batik, embroidery and applique. After a number of exhibits abroad, he currently lives in the United States, where he resides in Santa Fe.
The continual quest for design inspiration recently took our product design team to the 10th Annual Santa Fe International Folk Art Market—the largest folk market in the world. The event exposes attendees to local artisans, traditions and wares from across the globe, with more than 190 artists (representing 60 countries) and 20,000 attendees participating. Citing economic empowerment and sustainable income as part of its mission, the artists take home 90% of the money earned on the sale of their goods—for most, this is ten times the income they would earn in one year at home. Essentially, this translates as earning power to sustain their villages and preserve their crafts.
Following the event, the design team returned to the office inspired and more connected to our global community—as they had the opportunity to directly engage with the artisans. In the following weeks, we will feature several of these inspiring individuals and their work. We hope you will find these stories as fascinating as we do.