How to upgrade your wardrobe for that tie-dye 1960s vibe
Dust off your old tie-dye camp t-shirt – tie-dye is back in style.
During the pandemic, tie-dyeing enjoyed a new wave of popularity as people searched for crafts to make at home. In July 2020, Oprah Daily reported this interest in the term ” tie dye craftsHas increased 13 times since last June on Pinterest, and searches for “tie dye at home” have increased by more than 462% compared to 2019.
This trend also meant more lucrative business for artists who weave professionally. Meredith Perotto, owner of Soul Shine Maine in Berwick, started his business dyeing a variety of garments with his own special method about five years ago. During the pandemic, she was on the verge of quitting, when suddenly her sales exploded.
“I went from a tie-dyeing business at around $ 10,000 per year to a six-figure tie-dyeing business per year,” Perotto said. “It’s the trend right now, and it’s the thing.”
Tie and dye clothing made a comeback during the pandemic. It is not too late to follow the trend. Credit: Linda Coan O’Kresik / BDN
Other artists began to tie the knots during the pandemic and found it to be a lucrative and fashionable business. Kennebunk artist Beth Nowicki said she took inspiration from TikTok acid wash and bleach stain videos to start making pieces for her family friends, sometimes sending them to by surprise to make them smile during difficult times.
Word spread of her dyeing skills and she started her business Tie Dye Wickidelic, which primarily sells recycled tie-dye products, around Memorial Day weekend in 2020. It also makes tie-dye dye commissions for restaurants and other local businesses.
“I wasn’t expecting it,” Nowicki said. “It’s pretty wild. People were a little sad last year and wanted something happy. Maine is a very laid back state and you certainly see tie-dye all over the place.
Kathy Bouchard, owner of Mainly indigo yarn in Newcastle, which launched its clothing and tie-dye-dyed business in February 2019, believes there is an element of nostalgia in the recent tie-dye craze as well.
“Tie-dyeing brought back fond memories to a lot of people,” Bouchard said. “Tie-dye in our country is associated with the 60s and is linked to politics and a certain lifestyle. Some people relate to that and others who are younger I think like the artistic aspect of it.
The recent rise in the tie-dye trend isn’t all sun and rainbows for little artists, as fast fashion has entered the tie-dye game.
“The prices are definitely competitive, especially in the Etsy world,” Bouchard said. “The tie-dye is in every store window. Much of it is printed in another country and shipped here which is why the prices are easier. It’s an expensive hobby and one that adds up quickly.
How to make tie-dye work for you
This summer, the trend is in full swing, just in time to flaunt tie-dye hues as the world reopens. Perotto said that the fact that June is Pride Month has also increased demand for his artistic services, especially for rainbow creations.
That said, anyone can make the trend work for them.
“I think tie dye is now more accessible to people of all age groups, from baby onesies to my parents in their late 60s who wear it,” a- she declared. “I think people used to have this association like, ‘Oh, you’re a hippie if you wear tie-dye’, but those Gen Z kids in high school who might not fit that stereotype wear tie-dye. “
Even if you don’t think of yourself as a tie-dye person, there is definitely a model that suits your style and personality. In fact, Perotto admitted that she is “not the biggest tie-dye fan in [her] personal wardrobe ”, so she challenged herself to create pieces that“ transcend the limits of the rainbow ”.
“I try to find techniques and colors for people who don’t like tie-dye too much, [like] more earthy tones [and] no such spiral, ”she said. “I just released a whole range of dresses which are all based on some sort of natural, organic galaxy-like color scheme.”
Although the patterns and the tie-dyeing process have not fundamentally changed, Nowicki has noticed that certain trends have become more popular in tie-dyeing today.
“I feel like the reverse tie dyeing technique has been very popular, or bleaching a black shirt and then the tie dyeing process on top of that,” said Nowicki.
Trendy pieces have also changed. For example, Nowicki said she has noticed a higher demand for tubular socks and dyed crew socks, bobs and “anything that has a logo”.
“Baby is so popular right now because I feel like everyone has [pandemic] babies, ”Perotto added.
If you buy tie-dye clothes, the quality of the item will be better if you buy it from a tie-dye artist than if you were to buy fast fashion.
“Mass-produced products often lack color, design and that unique feeling,” Bouchard said.
Try it yourself
If you’d rather try tie-dyeing yourself but missed this lesson at summer camp, don’t worry, it’s easy to get started.
First, take the dye. Perotto recommended looking for high-quality dyes, like Procion, if you can. You can also use bleach to dye lighter colors in dark fabrics.
Next, determine what you want to dye. Nowicki said most dyes on the market are made only for natural fibers, so go for something that is 100 percent cotton.
If you want your colors to last, be sure to pre-soak your fabric in soda ash or sodium carbonate, which Perotto says opens up the fibers to receive the color. Soda ash can be found at a craft store or pool supply store, or it can be made by heating sodium bicarbonate (aka baking soda) at a low temperature – 200 degrees Fahrenheit is usually ideal – which will burn the water and carbon dioxide until all that is left is soda ash.
Finally, add the stain or bleach, ideally outdoors or in a well-ventilated area, and wait for it to reach the color you desire.
“There’s no wrong way to tie-dye,” Nowicki said. “It’s like art therapy for most people.”
Even if the tie-dye trend starts to ease off – as trends usually do – it’s likely to return at some point.
“People in times of revolution [and] the change is attracted by the tie-dye, ”said Perotto. “If you go through history in different eras, there have been times when it was popular and most of those times coincide with a time of disagreement, like the Vietnam War or what’s going on now.”
Nowicki, for his part, is hoping this generation of tie-dye is here to stay.
“The brightly colored patterns in home clothing are just plain fun,” she said. “I don’t want this to go away. “