Channel your inner flower child with tie-dyed clothing

Channel your inner flower child with tie-dyed clothing

Tie-dyed clothing is synonymous with the carefree life of the sixties where hippies – bohemian and laid back individuals – inspired people around them to “chill” and not take life too seriously. Thus, tie-dyed clothing is worn when you go on holiday – especially to the beach, where you can be laid back and forget the rest of the world and the problems presented by reality for a while. You can also incorporate tie-dyed clothing into your daily apparel, providing you are meticulous about the amount of tie-dyed print you wear – office peers will look askance if you turn up in a brightly coloured tie-dyed tunic, especially if you work in a stuffy, corporate environment. What is tie-dyed clothing? Well it is a very popular style, for starters, and is an instant mood lifter thanks to the combination of fluorescent pinks, yellows, oranges and other bright shades on the same piece of cloth. Knitted or woven cotton fabric is used to make such clothing and the process is just that – you tie and you dye cloth to create wonderfully bright items of clothing. One can say that the tie-dye style is a modern take on the tradition of dyeing cloth which is an age old practice practiced by many cultures world-wide. Take a tee-shirt, knot parts of the material tightly with string or rubber bands and immerse it in a solution of dye for a while before putting it out to dry. Once it has died, unknot the knots you made, and your tie-dyed top is ready. The tied portions do not get dyed, and the white contrasts against the other colours to make a beautiful pattern which can be customised to suit your preference and depends on how creatively you can knot the material. You can also apply different coloured dye to different parts of the fabric for a multicoloured look. Tie-dye methods have been used traditionally all over the world – in India and other parts of the world such as Africa, indigo was cultivated for dyeing purposes. Bandhni saris of Rajasthan and Ikat fabrics are famous and popular tie-dye options sought after by many in India and in the rest of the world. Psychedelic tie-dyed clothing was introduced by the likes of rock star Janis Joplin and her ilk, and greatly influenced the 60s. Tie-dyed clothing has come a long way from just being symbolic of hippe culture however, as big brand names like Dior also manufacture and sell tie-dyed clothing to their clientele. There is a simple way to make your own tie-dyed clothing – have a look at the steps that follow:
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1.Take big bowls of water- depending on how many different coloured dyes you want to use. Add cloth dyes to the water and mix well. If you are using a coloured shirt then add bleach to the dye mixture too – bleach will lighten the existing colour of the shirt and make the dyes stand out. 2. Take a plain white tee-shirt. If this is your first attempt, white is the best colour to work with for a brighter tie-dye look. Fold it in half and then roll it up into a slim length of cloth. Do this as tightly as possible and then tie rubber bands on sections of the cloth – think about how sausages are tied – just like that! 3. Using a spray bottle filled with different coloured dyes, squirt the different sections of cloth with colour. Mix and match the shades. After that, let the roll of cloth dry for a while and then, open it up and let it dry completely – hang the tee from a clothes hanger, in the shade. It may take up to a day to dry properly. Then wash it in hot water first, and then with detergent so that all the extra dye runs out. That’s all! Remember to wear old clothes and gloves when doing this, because this is messy work and dyes will stain your skin and clothing!

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