Welcome to our fashion color community. Here you'll find the latest fashion-focused Palettes and Patterns, as well as Blog, Trends and Forums to help you find the right look.

Channels»Fashion»Blog
The History of Tie-Dye & The Art of Digital Tie-Dye

The History of Tie-Dye & The Art of Digital Tie-Dye


Tie-Dye, a modern textile craft, is something that has been around for ages and will be around for many more moons to come. Always intriguing, always a new spin off the same basic concept, done in a rainbow of hues to monochromatic intrigues. And while we're on the topic, check out the Rainbow Contest over at Instrucables right now (awesome art prizes). All types of submissions are acceptable, so have some fun with it!

Share this Post Pin It

Tie-Dye became popular in the United States of our more modern world in the late 1960's and heavily saturated the 1970's which sort of branded it to the times and people of "Free Love", tripping on Acid and LSD.

"Although shibori and batik techniques were used occasionally in Western fashion before the 1960s, modern psychedelic tie-dying did not become a fad until the late 1960s following the example set by rock stars such as Janis Joplin and John Sebastian (who did his own dyeing)." ~ Wikipedia

Tie-Dye mostly went in to hiding with the outrageously new Neon trends during the 80's and 90's. Then, along with every popular known trend of each era, it was brought back and re-hashed in our Pop Culture of today's fashion sphere.

If you don't know what modern, American Tie-dye is, you might be living under a rock, but here is a great resource on the technique and style if you've never looked it up.

tiedye1

Sourced from Tie-Dye on Wikipedia

So how did it literally become an American craft to be readily found in stores everywhere - I love this part. Basically, Tie-Dye came about when a company was trying to save it's brand. RIT® dye, at the time was losing momentum with their prime market clientele, older generation females doing home-dying.

"At the time, RIT® dye was starting to lose it's market; primarily older women that dyed home goods." - Dharma Article, Did you Know...? 

Without getting in to too much detail on the actual specifics because I think that [ one of my favorite online dye resources ] the Dharma Trading Company impressively covered the textbook attributes of this really well in their article, Did You Know: Is Tie-Dye An American Art Form? 

"Artists, opinion leaders, and influencers took to tie-dying almost as if it were a new psychedelic substance. Janis Joplin began wearing tie dye (it was even rumored she wore tie-dye panties) but it was still confined to a small circle of users. The next stop was the fashion industry but they weren't convinced it was anything more then a local fad. About this time, folks heard about a musical gathering that was to take place in rural Woodstock, New York, and it was going to be a big event (understatement of the decade!). Two of the well-known artists in the Village wanted to tie-dye several hundred T-shirts and give them away at the concert. RIT financed the project. Thousands of people showed up at Woodstock from across the country and the tie-dye T-shirts were eye-catching. The idea caught on…big. Joe Cocker, Mama Cass, Janis Joplin all wore tie-dye. Tie-dye became a symbol of antiestablishmentarianism, as no one else could have the same shirt as you even if they used the same colors. It was a statement of being an individual." - Read More... How the Fashion Industry finally took it seriously...

I could quite literally quote this entire article it's so interesting and well written. I'll leave the quotes to that, but how amazing to see how a pretty modern fad became a huge trend over trying to save a brand name product.

In summary, basically the traditional methods, techniques and practices of the tie-dye movement from the 1960's and 70's we know of here in the USA were brought over from African traditional art to save a brand name. Amazing!

Video Tutorial: Create Your Own Tie-Dye in Seamless Lite (to Janis Joplin)

Feel free to use this exact technique to practice and get the hang of it! :) 

Templates You Can Tie-Dye Yourself - Show me what you've got!

Do you have a favorite template that works for tie-dye? Please share!

not_sure300310bKaali*Splash*Harakrodha_JwalaaNuclear_Age


Explore Tie-Dye on COLOURlovers:

tie_dyetie_dye_templatetie_dyeTie_dye_shirtTie_Dyetiedye_sareegroovy_tie-dye!Melting_Tie-Dyeelectric_tie_dyeGeometric_Tie-DyeTie-DyeWoodstock_Tie_DyeMelting_Tie-Dye_2Tie_Dye_Pillowtie_dyeZzzzBlue_Tie_DyeThreaded_RainbowPeşkirtie_dye


Related Articles

27 Comments
Showing 1 - 27 of 27 Comments

AngKar

Thanks for the interesting article! Tie-die is something we did in school as a kid, but I've never really researched it before. I'm thinking I need to do a tie-die project this summer...
Team
Team

mollybermea

I added a belated video tutorial for Seamless Lite on making digital Tie-Dye! ;)
AngKar wrote:
Thanks for the interesting article! Tie-die is something we did in school as a kid, but I've never really researched it before. I'm thinking I need to do a tie-die project this summer...

kalindy

mollybermea wrote:
I added a belated video tutorial for Seamless Lite on making digital Tie-Dye! ;)
AngKar wrote:
Thanks for the interesting article! Tie-die is something we did in school as a kid, but I've never really researched it before. I'm thinking I need to do a tie-die project this summer...

Cool! I'm excited to go watch.

And Dharma Trading Company is a great resource for dyes, tools, books, dye-able fabric and dye-able clothing.

Watched it - great demonstration, Molly! And Janis Joplin is a perfect choice.
Team

mollybermea

THANK YOU! :)

kalindy wrote:
mollybermea wrote:
I added a belated video tutorial for Seamless Lite on making digital Tie-Dye! ;)
AngKar wrote:
Thanks for the interesting article! Tie-die is something we did in school as a kid, but I've never really researched it before. I'm thinking I need to do a tie-die project this summer...

Cool! I'm excited to go watch.

And Dharma Trading Company is a great resource for dyes, tools, books, dye-able fabric and dye-able clothing.

Watched it - great demonstration, Molly! And Janis Joplin is a perfect choice.

Ifihadapaintcan

Thanks for the News. I didn't know that tie dye was connected to an African art/craft. I have an old book that teaches many crafts and batik is included. It looks really interesting.

ginnysister

Thanks Molly, love your addition to my Colourlovers experience, really appreciate your efforts and great input to the Community! (Thanks to Colin too!)
I remember fondly doing tie dye and batik at school, also our Tie Dyed T-Shirts, Bathers, and hippie skirts of the 70's............ my Mum always told me "If you keep anything long enough it will come back into fashion!"
Of course I didn't take her advice so I just made a new tie dye tee in Seamless ............
inspired by you♥
Tie_Dye_TeeMy_Tie_Dye_Tee
Team

mollybermea

I had no idea it had come over from Africa either... and didn't know about the Rit dye part of the story. It's really impressive to me that this guy did more than save his company, he impacted fashion and textile art trends for eons.

Ifihadapaintcan wrote:
Thanks for the News. I didn't know that tie dye was connected to an African art/craft. I have an old book that teaches many crafts and batik is included. It looks really interesting.
Team

mollybermea

Certainly! so interesting right?!
AngKar wrote:
Thanks for the interesting article! Tie-die is something we did in school as a kid, but I've never really researched it before. I'm thinking I need to do a tie-die project this summer...

Seahorse Girl

My digital Tie Dy attempt...
Peace_Loving_HippyGroovy_Kind_of_Love

ColourARTZZ74

cool, I'll watch these video's until I get mine right, thanks again!
Team

mollybermea

Keep in mind that art is not a matter of "getting it right" it is more a matter of just having fun with it, working and always making progress along the way.
:) glad to have you!

ColourARTZZ74 wrote:
cool, I'll watch these video's until I get mine right, thanks again!

ColourARTZZ74

mollybermea wrote:
Keep in mind that art is not a matter of "getting it right" it is more a matter of just having fun with it, working and always making progress along the way.
:) glad to have you!

ColourARTZZ74 wrote:
cool, I'll watch these video's until I get mine right, thanks again!


thankyou :)
Team

OrigamiMei

JANIS JOPLIN ♥♥
You make me wanna design, Molly.
Team

mollybermea

Aw thanks lady! :D <3
OrigamiMei wrote:
JANIS JOPLIN ♥♥
You make me wanna design, Molly.

sundancer

Great article! I love the how-to video. I never knew you could use seamless in that way. Thanks for featuring my patterns in your article, too! :-)
Melting_Tie-DyeMelting_Tie-Dye_2

pankaj554

It's really good. I have done some color combination projects in my and school life. I was not some good. But After reading your article and looking at mixture of color. I feel very happy and I would love to do color art project in 2016 summer. Thank U So much

aliciamckay

I love these, some beautiful patterns here!

ColourARTZZ74

aliciamckay wrote:
I love these, some beautiful patterns here!


yeah there is :)

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Search The Blog

Subscribe & Share

Our Latest Tweets

RT @ryan_schuijer: Dang, check these waterdroplets on @codepen, made by @stefanweck! So well made, it's like a window in your device https:…
about 2 months ago
Tweet this ArticleFollow @COLOURlovers

Latest Fashion Blog Posts

//View More ›

Tags

Latest Fashion Colors

//View More ›

Latest Fashion Palettes

//View More ›

Latest Fashion Patterns

//View More ›