Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The "Summer of Love" Look Updated

Back in my youthful, cash-strapped days, I made tie-dyed pillowcases for gifts to my family. Some of the ideas included below could be fun summer projects. I recommend using Rit dye and following the directions for colorful projects which should not fade. I have not had success using herbs as dyes. They tend to be fugitive in sunlight. Please let me know if you were inspired to try some projects by sending me a picture of the finished project.

"Just so we're clear, the hippies did not invent tie-dye. Yes, they may have perfected the psychedelic variety and forever linked the technique to the Summer of Love, but tie-dyeing is actually an ancient method used all over the world. Japanese shibori has been around since the eighth century. Tie-dyeing is also found in Peru, India, Africa and Indonesia.

Tie-dying can produce subtle rippling patterns. It's the perfect wabi-sabi* (see below) art, because it can never be controlled 100 percent. Every piece of tie-dye is unique.

In decorating it adds soft, organic shape and texture. It can be modern, bohemian, colorful or neutral.

Here are 11 examples of tie-dye on cushions, walls, beds and rugs. And there's hardly a hippie room among them.
The watery stripes on these tie-dye throw pillows mirror both the colors and the feeling of the painting above.
A subtle brown and yellow tie-dyed pillow lives quite comfortably in this modern eclectic room. It brings a little movement in among all those hard lines.
Another marriage of tie-dye and a more modernist aesthetic. When used like this, tie-dye can be the main focal point of a room.
I love the soft, earthy feeling of the brown and turquoise on this pillow. The pillow goes perfectly with that Cisco Brothers pouf.
This tie-dye-inspired flokati rug is both a colorful statement piece and the perfect grounding item for this boho eclectic room. It's'70s, but not ironically so.
This wall is certainly not really tie-dyed, but it has that same soft, organic look. It's like a super close-up of agate or lapis. Simply gorgeous.
Another tie-dye-inspired wall covering.
You don't even notice at first that these hot-pink curtains are tie-dyed. But they are, and they work.
I love the subtle tie-dye pattern on this area rug. This could work even in a traditional room. There's nothing hippie about it.
John Robshaw is known for his gorgeous patterns inspired by ancient designs from around the world. This beauty, inspired by shibori, is no exception.
In this neutral room, the tie-dye-pattern wallpaper evokes wood grain and a cozy cabin feel without being too woodsy.
Shabd Simon Alexander is a master of gorgeous, subtle tie-dye, and this book is chockablock with how-tos and good ideas.

*Wabi-Sabi= Some object that is still beautiful despite imperfection. For example, a slab of wood with a crack or a flower that is beginning to love petals. It represents the passage of time and a life cycle we all experience. 

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