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!
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.
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!