Tie Dye is Fashionable


Courtenay Tie Dye fabric used in Veda Clothing DesignsCourtesy-http://www.thisisveda.com/

Tie Dye is Fashionable

Although in some ways tie dye fashion never left, the scene after all these years, tie dye shirts are making a significant comeback in the fashion world once again. One reason for this popularity is that wearing tie dye is still a way to make a statement- to be different, To be noticed and to feel alive with color is one reason to sport a tie dye. Wearing a tie dye shirt shows you are an individual and unique in some way. In tie dye clothing you just look hip and can’t help but feel like part of the counter culture. You could ‘Occupy’ whatever space you are in while wearing your colors.

A second reason is that fashion from the 1960s is coming back into style, which has made these tie dye designs much more desirable. Today tie dye is more prolific than ever before. Numerous tie dye artists have gone into the business of tie dye since the early days when the Grateful Dead showcased the art form w with their stage speakers customized with Courtenay Pollock’s tie dyes. Now there are many wonderful tie dye artists out there creating excellent effects in tie dye and tie dyed clothing has moved into the mainstream of fashion.

The History of Tie Dye

Even though tie dye is frequently associated with the 1960s in the United States, its origins actually go back to about 500 AD in what is now Peru. Further, several tie dye designs have been found in Japan and Indonesia and it is believed that these unique pieces are from the 8th century.

Tie dye was first practiced in the United States in 1909, although it was not used much in the production of clothing. In the late 1960s, a number of musicians began wearing the style, with some creating their own tie dye shirts themselves like John Sebastian of the ‘Lovin Spoonful’. Many bands, such as the Grateful Dead began making a statement with tie dye speaker covers, as well as wearing the Tie Dye T-Shirts themselves on stage. This is when tie dye became well-known in the late 60’s as a symbol of love, peace and freedom. It was a statement of being different and a way of un-linking from the old system.

Tie Dye Mandala as Art

smoky Topaz Mandala

Source: Tie Dye Mandala Art

Original Tie Artist of the Grateful Dead

During the height of this style’s popularity, many individuals sold tie dye products. Today, however, only a few of the original tie dye artists are still producing. which has put a premium on their work. An artist whose name is synonymous with tie dye is Courtenay Pollock, who was the original tie dye artist for the Grateful Dead. From these roots has sprung a proliferation of tie dyers.

The Grateful Dead toured for over 30 years straight, with many of their fans, ( dead heads ) wearing tie dyes created by numerous tie dyers across the nation. Many such individuals created a living following the Grateful Dead and selling tie dyes to others fans in the car parks at the venues. These impromptu bazaars became a sub culture of their own around the Grateful Dead scene.


Unique Method of Tie Dye

Courtenay Pollock’s geometric method of creating tie dyes is different from others in the industry, as he uses a geometric folding technique that is very similar to origami.

He calls this process fabric fractal art or geometriart and believes that it is a unique method of tie dyeing .It produces a perfect symmetry in all of his designs. Many other tie dye artists have since mimicked his method and some of them with outstanding results.

Once the cloth has been folded, the dye is applied by his dipping method. Since there are countless ways in which the shirt can be folded and many ways colours can be used in various layering effects, each shirt comes out distinctly different from the previous ones. No two ever come out alike.

The folding allows Pollock to be very precise with his designs, rather than randomly applying or squirting dye on to the cloth. His style of work requires a very fine tuned dipping method to get the right amount of dye to the fabric in just the right amount of layering. Because of this technique, each shirt has its own identity, just like every person who wears one of these designs. There are many tie dye shirts on the market today that are spirals or twirls and they are mass produced with a cookie cutter technique. They can be bought on the internet for cheap, however, this is not the tie dye art designs we are talking about here. That is another method.

Courtenay’s Geometriart is something altogether different. He invented his method in 1968, and started work with the Grateful Dead in 1970. From there, he started creating backdrops and speaker covers for Grateful Dead concerts, in addition to the personal work he did for individual band members. His work got famous in those days. Everyone wanted an ‘Original Courtenay’. At one time his tie dye shirts alone were selling for $100! This was in the 1970’s. The Mandalas were going for over $250. His prices are still high today for the typical tie dye standards, but due to the uniqueness, plus the talent and fame of the artist, his work are all collectors items nowadays and well worth the price.

Fashionable Art

Each of the tie dye shirts on the market is meant to be a form of expression. Every piece of clothing that is created in this manner is a piece of art that is worn on the body, rather than hung on the wall. Clothing that is made using this technique should be as unique as the individual who wears it, which is perhaps one reason why an increasing number of people are turning back to tie dye. Although we can never bring the 1960s back, we can create the same feeling with these wonderful clothing designs.

see more of his designs at: http://courtenaytiedye.com


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