History of Tie Dying

When you think of tie dying, you might envision a group of hippies promoting peace and free love. However, this method of dying textiles didn't originate as recently as the 1960s, nor did it even begin in America. Rather, the history of tie dying dates to as early as the sixth century in Africa, Japan and India, where the traditional methods and techniques of tie dying were born.

The oldest method of tie dying still practiced today is called Bandhani. It is practiced in India and results in very intricate designs made up of small dots. These designs are created by tying small pints of thread and using dip-dying techniques. In Japan, Shabori is the name for a method of tie dying very similar to what we think of as modern-day tie dying in America. The Japanese predominately used indigo in their tie dying, ornamenting garments made from hemp and silk.

Eventually, tie dying made its way to American soil, where the hippie movement of the 1960s really embraced it. The vibrant colors and psychedelic patterns of tie-dye were a perfect match for a youth movement that protested the war and advocated sexual revolution.

Today, Rit Dye is commonly used for tie dying in America, but it wasn't always such a well-known brand. Before tie dying took U.S. by storm, the brand was struggling. However, when the dye was marketed door-to-door to hippies living in Greenwich Village, it soon became a household name.

Retired artists Will and Eileen Richardson took the trend one step farther when they created tie-dyed fashions that were shown to designers and magazine editors. Soon, Halston, a famous clothing designer, was using tie dye in his latest line, and not long after that, tie dye was being sported by stars like Janis Joplin. This was all it took to get the entire youth movement on board, and this method of dying garments became a symbol of a revolution and an entire decade in American history.

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Tie dye is a great way to make old things new again and once you learn the basic tie dye techniques and instructions, you can start updating unloved t-shirts, jersey knits, even bed linens. For best results, always use 100% natural fibers and perfect your technique or experiment with new ones on fabric remnants that you can afford to ruin.

Tie dye is a great way to put your own personal touch on things like shoes, bedding, shirts and other fabric items. Tie dye designs allow you to make your own unique crafts.

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Learn how to tie dye shirts to dress up that old shirt in your closet. You can buy a new shirt to tie dye, or you can choose to tie dye shirts that have been forgotten in your dresser drawers.

Tie dye patterns and instructions can help you dress up fabrics in your own home, to give as presents or even sell.

Learning how to tie dye jeans is a great way to make your old pieces of clothing new again.

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