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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images: Woman's cover (axellal), Northern Algeria, Atlas Mountains, Imazighen (Berber) peoples, Kabylie, late 19th century, wool, cotton, and dye, Dallas Museum of Art, Textile Purchase Fund; Prestige panel, Côte d'Ivoire, Dida peoples, first half of the 20th century, palm leaf fiber (raffia) and natural dye, Dallas Museum of Art, Textile Purchase Fund; Man's robe (agbada), Nigeria: Yoruba peoples, 20th century, cotton and dye, Dallas Museum of Art, Textile Purchase Fund; Coronation cloth (Olóbo, "the cloth with a king on it"), Nigeria, Abeokuta, Yoruba peoples, 1963, cotton and indigo, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Alta Brenner in honor of her daughter Andrea Bernice Brenner-McMullen; Woman's marriage or ceremonial veil, Morocco: central Anti-Atlas Mountain range, Tafraoute area, Imazighen (Berber) peoples, Ida ou Zeddoute group, 1900-1930, wool and natural dyes, including henna, Dallas Museum of Art, Textile Purchase Fund; Woman's headcloth (assaba), Tunisia, Matmata or Dahar mountains, Imazighen (Berber) peoples, early 20th century, wool and dyes, Dallas Museum of Art, Textile Purchase Fund