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A bit of background

Kate Moss

Although the era of psychedelia gave tie-dye it's attitude, the trend has roots. The earliest forms of this art are said to have been around since 500-800 A.D., dyed with pigments from roots, flowers, leaves and berries.

In Peru, the technique known as ikat was used in their elaborate weavings. The designs were mostly dots and lines on wool, but as the art form came to be more sophisticated ikat became a way to convey status or wealth.

Shibori is a form of tie-dye or “shape resist dyeing” that originated in Japan. The art was based on the concept of tightly wrinkled fabric resisting penetration, which is the basic definition of what tie-dye is today. Shibori was used to make detailed designs on kimonos.

India offers the technique of bandhani. Bandhani is performed using natural colors and tying bits of the cloth, resulting in small undyed dots, squares, waves and strips. This art form is still popular in Muslim women’s’ wear.

There were several reemergences of the art form worldwide, none of which had the impact that the Hippie movement did. Hippies gave tie-dye its style in the late 1960s and ’70s when individuality and creativity were huge.

It was worn by Janis Joplin, hung on bedroom walls, used as concert backdrops and made by anyone with an old tablecloth to spare. Since then, tie-dye has been called the lowest of art forms: a cheap craft.

Contrary to this statement, it has also been splashed across the pages of Paris Vogue on the likes of supermodel Kate Moss.