It was Woodstock in 1969 when I saw them first. It was Woodstock that revolutionized this form of self-expression. Though they had been around a long time, it was a company called RIT Dyes that made several hundred shirts and people bought them at the festival. And it was my sophomore year in 1971 that I made my own, beginning with a white shirt T shirt tightening rubber bands several times, scattered about and placing a pot of food coloring on the stove. I was not very artistic or patient. But it actually turned out nicely though the blue faded quickly. I was going to be a true hippie. In reality, I remained in between. Tie dye was just a fashion statement for many.
In the 1980’s, tie dye decor faded except for maybe the fans of the Grateful Deal. Though we did make tie dye shirts in the late 1990’s here at home for a school event for my childhood daughter…it may have been a return to the 1960’s or 70’s ….not many knew how to do it and again, I don’t remember the details. We did, however, use two colors. In the early 2000’s, tie dye again took a back seat to other types of design.
According to Heroine, the psychedelic print’s popularity came back last year at high fashion luxury runway shows beginning to show elevated forms of the psychedelic print in sophisticated silhouettes. And as a teacher assistant in an elementary school, I noticed a few wearing tie dye that included colorful bows and other accessories including a few shirts.
Out of boredom this summer during the pandemic my daughter bought a professional tie dye kit which includes several small rubber bands and die that comes in plastic bottles that you squirt on the shirts and wrap in foil for 24 hours then rinse in the shower until each item runs clear. Finally, wash in the washing machine and dry. The colors were beautiful making shirts for friends, children of friends, pillow cases and a shirt for me.
Many kits are available to actually host a Tie Dye party or sleep overs for children. The Tulip One Step Tie Dye kit at Michaels is one of the most popular with 12 bottles of dye to create up to 36 different tie dye projects! The Tie dye kit includes 12 colors, gloves, rubber bands, and different tie dye techniques. The dyes are permanent and color-fast, so they won’t fade in the wash, and since the dyes are mixable, you can create your own custom colors. Everything but the t-shirt is included. Mom and Dad have approved the kit for children to use.
I was so excited to wear my shirt to school today. I was expecting many to comment about my wild approach to dress but this year, but not so much though one did like the blue. In 2020, we are more conscious of the various masks we are wearing rather than clothes.