From lockdown hobby to fully fledged design trend, we're diving headfirst into the resurgence of tie-dye...
Tie-dye has become one of the biggest design trends of 2021. A retro design style reminiscent of the 1960s when the modern term was invented, tie-dye made a resurgence in 2020 as people delved into DIY tie-dye experiments at home during lockdown. Now, the tie-dye trend is popping up everywhere from graphic design and branding to catwalks and luxury fashion lines.
Featuring bright colors, swirling prints and a crafty DIY vibe, tie-dye is one of the most ancient forms of decorating cloth, with roots in India, Japan, Indonesia, and West Africa.
Almost immediately, tie-dye design – featured in t-shirts, headscarfs and more – became the unofficial dress code of the free-love era, synonymous with peace and love. After making a brief comeback in the 90s when the grunge scene embraced a 60s counter culture aesthetic, the tie-dye trend exploded in 2020, with searches for “tie dye loungewear” increasing by 5,000% during the global pandemic. Since then, searches for tie-dye – particularly “tie-dye masks”, “tie-dye sweat sets” and even “tie-dye towels” – have continued to climb, spurring a full on tie-dye revival.
The tie-dye process typically consists of twisting, tying or binding fabric into sections with string or rubber bands. It’s then dipped into one or more colored dyes to produce bold, colorful patterns. Tie-dye is often characterized by the use of bright, saturated primary colors and eye-popping patterns such as spirals and mandalas.
However, the fashion industry has begun to adopt a more ‘sophisticated’ style of tie-dye, featuring branded motifs, muted or monochromatic color schemes, and a focus on luxurious fabrics and garments – such as this tie-dye cashmere trench coat from fashion brand Gabriela Hearst. With the trend now adopted by luxury fashion brands such as Prada, Christian Dior and Stella McCartney, there’s no denying that tie-dye is to dye for right now.
Ready to get creative and colorful? Here are some of the best tie-dye inspired items available on Envato Elements, from brushes to textures.