Tie Dye in Fashion

Tie Dye in Fashion

Tie dyed fabrics in white blue and putty ready to be sewn into hats


I LOVE tie-dye! There I’ve said it.

Tie dye is an art form that rose to popularity in the 1960’s and 70’s.

Declared as the “me decade” by the journalist and writer Tom Wolfe, there was no one-look in the 1970’s but a myriad of fashion choices with an emphasis on do-it-yourself.

Self-expression was encouraged through artistic fashion.

Boutiques offered hippy clothing with a fantasy feel decorated with imaginary landscapes and rainbow colours.

The bohemian gypsy look portrayed in fashion magazines flourished amongst pop festival attendee’s.  Fabrics went print mad showcasing imitations of Lichtenstein paintings, a prominent pop artist, to simple spots and dots. Fake fur, silk, tapestry coats, everything was patterned. Amongst the pattern and in a fusillade of brilliant colour came fabulously tie-dyed silk and cotton scarves, sarongs and lengths of fabric inspired by the Far East. 

Tie-dye is a process where patterns are dyed into cloth. The technique is very simple and stunning artistic effects can easily be produced by taking the cloth and tying, folding, binding, knotting or sewing it. Then during dying the colour penetrates the untied areas and a pattern appears on the areas protected from the dye.

"a wonderful doorway that most easily leads you to the heart of an individual."

- Tom Wolfe's description of a person’s attire.

“Sophisticated” tie dye of simple motif’s and monochromic colour schemes in a variety of fabrics is emerging on the fashion scene, with a return to tie dye as an art form created by artists.

Due to the nature of tying and dying individual pieces by hand each will have its own unique characteristics, even if the tying is repeated exactly from piece to piece.

This makes the art an exciting adventure, which can give surprising results that are turned into truly original pieces.



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