From lockdown hobby to fully fledged design trend, we're diving headfirst into the resurgence of tie-dye...
Tie-dye has become one of the biggest design trends of 2021. A retro design style reminiscent of the 1960s when the modern term was invented, tie-dye made a resurgence in 2020 as people delved into DIY tie-dye experiments at home during lockdown. Now, the tie-dye trend is popping up everywhere from graphic design and branding to catwalks and luxury fashion lines.
Featuring bright colors, swirling prints and a crafty DIY vibe, tie-dye is one of the most ancient forms of decorating cloth, with roots in India, Japan, Indonesia, and West Africa.
Seeping into popular culture back in the 1960s and 70s, the tie-dye trend and tie-dye patterns first took off when a fabric dye manufacturer funded artists to make tie-dye shirts to be sold at Woodstock festival.
Almost immediately, tie-dye design – featured in t-shirts, headscarfs and more – became the unofficial dress code of the free-love era, synonymous with peace and love. After making a brief comeback in the 90s when the grunge scene embraced a 60s counter culture aesthetic, the tie-dye trend exploded in 2020, with searches for “tie dye loungewear” increasing by 5,000% during the global pandemic. Since then, searches for tie-dye – particularly “tie-dye masks”, “tie-dye sweat sets” and even “tie-dye towels” – have continued to climb, spurring a full on tie-dye revival.
The tie-dye process typically consists of twisting, tying or binding fabric into sections with string or rubber bands. It’s then dipped into one or more colored dyes to produce bold, colorful patterns. Tie-dye is often characterized by the use of bright, saturated primary colors and eye-popping patterns such as spirals and mandalas.
However, the fashion industry has begun to adopt a more ‘sophisticated’ style of tie-dye, featuring branded motifs, muted or monochromatic color schemes, and a focus on luxurious fabrics and garments – such as this tie-dye cashmere trench coat from fashion brand Gabriela Hearst. With the trend now adopted by luxury fashion brands such as Prada, Christian Dior and Stella McCartney, there’s no denying that tie-dye is to dye for right now.
If you’re keen to integrate tie-dye patterns into your graphic design, branding and creative projects, we have good news. The tie-dye trend is super easy to recreate digitally with Procreate brushes and Photoshop Actions. Plus, you don’t have to worry about staining your hands or sink!
Ready to get creative and colorful? Here are some of the best tie-dye inspired items available on Envato Elements, from brushes to textures.
We hope you enjoyed this Tie-Dye trend spotlight! For more top design trends, read up on the Line Art Trend, the Pastel Design Trend, the Bright and Bold Color Trend, and our top Graphic Design Trends for 2021!