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You’ve finally figured out your quarantine routine, like where to get groceries, how to work out at home and how to look presentable for a video chat. Now it’s time to figure out what to do to relax and feel creative.
Fortunately, there are plenty of online classes you can take to learn a new skill or hobby. And when in doubt, social media is here to guide us. Everyone was all about baking bread a few weeks ago. Then it seemed like everyone was into embroidery kits. Now everyone’s dipping their toes (and everything else) into at-home tie-dye projects.
The tie-dye trend was ticking up even before bored work-from-homers began looking for ways to spend their free time ― it even turned up in both spring and fall 2019 fashion shows, including Stella McCartney and Eckhaus Latta ― but interest has sharply risen as folks turn to the DIY activity to create loungewear-friendly styles.
Google searches for tie-dye have been on the rise recently. Likewise, searches for “tie dye at home” are up 462% on Pinterest, according to Larkin Brown, an experience researcher and in-house stylist at Pinterest. People are on the hunt for projects to entertain themselves and the whole family, Brown told HuffPost Finds.
“As many of us live in our cotton basics, a homemade tie-dye recipe may be just what we need to brighten up our day,” Brown said.
The vibrant fabric-dying technique has served as a way to express creativity through the years, becoming an iconic symbol of the counterculture revolution in the ’60s.
“A lot of us are looking for an outlet to express ourselves. The colorful, imperfect-looking designs that come from tie-dye can represent that,” said Jonathon Spagat, the director of marketing at Rit Dye, one of the best known fabric dye brands on the market.
Modern Tie-Dye Trends To Try
To successfully tie-dye at home, Spagat recommends using fabrics that have less than 40% polyester and an all-purpose dye squeeze bottle.
If you’re dying clothing made with mostly synthetic materials (i.e., most sweatsuits), you’ll need specific dye for synthetic materials and plenty of hot water. Spagat recommends using your stove.
Then comes the fun part. You can decide whether you want to try a classic old-school swirl, the scrunch method, or something trendier like shibori, ice dye, marbling, dip-dye or ombré techniques.
Pinterest searches for specific tie-dye techniques that take multiple steps and washes, like “How to crumple tie dye,” have gone up by 376% in recent weeks, Brown said.
Traditional tie-dye usually features multiple colors, but Spagat said there has been a move toward single-color tie-dye techniques, especially in trendy indigo dye and millennial pinks shades. Nude shades like tan dye and camel hues have also become popular for those who prefer a more neutral aesthetic. (However, Spagat warns nude tones can look brown if your dye mixture is too concentrated.)
The interest in putting together single-color tie-dye at home makes sense. It’s a trend retailers like Anthropologie and Madewell have been leaning into for a while now, selling indigo-dyed button downs, dip-dyed jeans, tie-dyed sweatsuits and even rainbow-dyed sneakers.
Whether you’re planning to do traditional multicolor tie-dye with your bored kiddos or want to try your hand at making a new hoodie to wear around the house, there are plenty of easy-to-use tie-dye kits to you can do at home.
To help you narrow it down, we’ve rounded up a few tie-dye kits and all of the materials you might need for a colorful weekend.