As soon as the first model hit the runway for London Fashion Week, retailers began scrabbling away, replicating the patterns and styles of top designers. As Laura and Kate Mulleavy of Rodarte gave a nod to the ‘90s by bringing back tie dye at New York Fashion Week, are we likely to see the same on this side of the pond?
If so, you can avoid wearing high street reproductions by tie dying your clothes yourself. And no longer do you need to stick to dying a white tee as you did when you were younger. This year’s trend sees Rodartetie dye a blanket shawl, a silk dress and a satin body suit. So this is your chance to be adventurous! Pick any white item you like – cotton, linen and silk tend to work best – and we can go from there.
You can buy fabric dye from any good haberdashery or fabric shop – and you can choose hand dye or machine dye in which you put the dye, together with your garment, in your washing machine. For tie dying purposes, you want to buy hand dye, as you’ll only be dying parts of your material or immersing it for a short amount of time in a washing up bowl or bucket.
When you’re ready to get started you want to soak your garment, as wet fabric is easier to dye. Spin out the excess water in your washing machine or squeeze out what you can by hand. You’ll then need either elastic bands or string to create your desired look.
There are a number of different designs you can create easily just by folding and tying your item in different ways. Some of the most popular ways to tie dye clothes include creating spirals, circles, stripes and knot tying:
- Spirals: Lay the fabric on a flat surface and put the handle end of a wooden spoon in a position where you’d like the centre of a spiral. Holding the fabric in place around the handle, start twisting the fabric around it. When you’ve got the material into a circular, spiral shape, tie multiple (around four) rubber bands or pieces of string over the fabric so that they crossover in the centre. Make sure the fabric retains its circular shape.
- Circles: Pick up a small area to be the centre of a circle and hold it between your fingers. With your other hand, tie string or elastic bands at one-inch intervals – go as far down as you’d like the circle to be wide.
- Stripes: Roll the fabric up to form a loose tube shape. Tie string or elastic bands tightly at regular intervals.
- Knot tying: Hold the garment at each end and twist it tightly to create a long rope. Tie it together to form a large knot.
Wearing rubber gloves, dissolve the dye in water as instructed by the packaging – the amount you need will also vary depending on the material you’re using and the size of the garment.Some patterns such as creating spirals will ask that you completely immerse the clothing in the dye, while other styles, and those where you want different colours will need you to apply the dye from squeezy bottles directly on to the individual areas. If you’re immersing the whole garment, leave it in the dye solution for around a minute before taking it out, squeezing out some of the excess water, sealing it in a plastic bag and leaving for 24 hours. If you’re applying the dye directly to the fabric with a bottle, you can pop it straight into the sealed bag.
After the 24 hours, without untying the item, rinse it in cold water until it runs clear. Then you can untie the string or elastic bands and wash it in hot water using washing detergent.Once you’ve dried your tie dye masterpiece, it’ll be extremely wrinkled so you need to use a steam washing machine or iron to remove the creases. Now you’re good to go!
If you want to get more involved in London Fashion Week’s trends, designer Holly Fulton has teamed up with event sponsor LG and will be creating a bespoke Pinterest board showing the inspiration behind her unique fabric prints and embellishment in her latest collection. You can share your own fabric inspirations on Pinterest –enter using @LGUK and #LGLFW on Twitter for the chance to win an LG 6 Motion Direct Drive washing machine, also available to buy on LG’s website.