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  • Writer's pictureShauntee Joseph

Ice Dying

Tie Dyes much cooler older cousin.


From high street to fast fashion tie dye is back in a real way.

When? How? Why? Who decided to bring tie dye to the forefront after it had been cast aside as Berkeley hippie attire? My money is on both pandi-boredom and the "90's fashion comeback" Whoever the culprit is...Its back with a vengeance. “While tie-dye loungewear definitely had its moment in 2020, it looks like it is definitely here to stay for the Spring/Summer 2021 season,” Caroline Maguire, fashion director at Shopbop, told the Zoe report. And that it was.

Tie dye reminds me of summer days when I was young. My mother never like our time to be idly spent, always with a "project" at the ready to curb our boredom. It usually consisted of baking, gardening, sewing or yep you guessed it, tie dying. My sister Erica, a designer and philanthropist, never lost that project mindset and began tie dying with her Sew What summer sewing campers 5 years ago. My niece (who is 20) assists every year and has turned out some pretty epic pieces herself that looked more like a work of art than a summer project. During the lockdown the "project" mindset was in full affect and my niece was playing no games. Forgoing the traditional bullseye she was taught as a child, she decided to branch out. What she achieved were beautiful watercolor-esque dreams that she casually wore at weekly "bubble brunches" with my mom, my sister and I. (How I wish this was a reference to a champagne brunch, but alas it was just our little Sunday morning pandi-bubble get together but I digress...) Long story short, had to know her methods. "How in the world did you get tie dye to look like that?!" I asked one Sunday over savory waffles. "It's ice dye" she said in her deadpan Gen Z voice. "I'll send you a link."

So what is ice dying? Ice dye is a method of dying where you cover your textile in ice, (cubed, crushed, you can even use snow in the winter) sprinkle powdered dye on top and let nature do its magic. As the ice melts, it dictates how the dye splits and bleeds, and where it ultimately lands on the fabric–leading to surprisingly delightful results every time!

Guys when I tell you I was hooked... It started with my husbands birthday in March. I dyed sock as party favors.

Then it was a Target run of the following items...

More Socks, Men's Tees, a bodysuit for a friend and Onsies for other friends who were having babies

Then it was all the dingy white things shirts we own *enter Olivias pants

then it was sustainable items I thrifted here and there

Then it was shirts for my Blueprint graduates and a dress for me to match because duh...

And now it is never again. #toomuchtiedye

Surplus available on the gram!



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