Get to Know Tie-Dye! | The Young Hippie

Get to Know Tie-Dye!

It wouldn't surprise us if you loved tie dye, as much as we did. After all, it's one of the "staples" of a hippie wardrobe, no matter the season. But did you realize there are a variety of tie dye styles, not just one of them? 

A Bit of History About Tie Dye.....

It might surprise you to know just how long tie-dye has been around for. But tie dye has existed in the world as far back as recorded in the T'ang Dynasty in China from about 600 to 900 C.E.. There has also been proof of tie dye in Japan around the same time period too. In India, tie dye was done starting at about the 6th century. What is amazing is not only were people enjoying tie dye, but also that it was occurring in different parts of the world. That tie dye also would look different,

depending on where you were and at what time it was happening. 

While today, most dyes are commercially manufactured, one of the things many admired about tie dye was that the dyes were 100% natural – made from simple and wholesome ingredients such as berries, flowers, leaves, roots, vegetables and herbs too. Some of them - such as blackberries - could create deep and bold colors. Others like onions - would be used for softer and more subtle shades of color. Truly when you looked at nature you could find a unique rainbow to use to tie dye. 

In the 8th century, Shibori tie dye was created as a modern style of tie dye, to be found at the time in both Japan and Indonesia. Most often you can see Shibori done with a bold, dark navy dye and then neatly perfect geometric lines or shapes in the white space. Some could find this similar (but not quite alike) to batik. 

During the 1920's in America, the Great Depression occurred and many looked

for ways to save money wherever they could. Tie dying was considered a 

popular method to redecorate and DIY new fabrics from what you already had. 

So if you wanted your home to look great without opening your wallet, tie dye

was an ideal option. 

In the 1960's Hippie culture became a social and cultural revolution in the U.S.A.. 

Tie dye matched this culture, and you would quickly find bold and vibrant clothing

and home decor items. Don't make the mistake of thinking that tie dye was

simply for tees, no it was also for sheets and pillows, towels, socks, sneakers,

blankets, tapestries, bags, accessories and more. 

In today's time you will see a complete tapestry of the different types of

tie dye. So you can discover Shibori tie dye items, as well as the bold & colorful

rainbow brights that were found in the 1960's Hippie era. So have fun and be

adventurous, find your new-to-you tie dye favorites to add to your wardrobe &

home decor! 

We've found you quite a few of not only the classic tie dye styles but also the modern ones too. Whether you want to wear a tee, sweatshirt or have home decor that has tie dye on it, these will appeal to you. Not only can you wear one type of tie dye, you can mix and match and try to wear several of them, or have a few as home decor. 

If you like to DIY tie dye things, we know it will please you to know that some of these are simple to make, even if others are more advanced. So if you've never made a tie dye tee, you can still get great results. Why not give it a try? We think you'll be glad you did. 

Bullseye tie dye - The bullseye tie dye is one of the most popular tie dye styles. It covers an entire tee or other item such as home decor. 

What makes the bullseye tie dye so much fun is that it is multi-color and it goes in a radiant circle, very similar to a sun. This is a very vibrant tie dye style. It's perfect to wear in the summer or even the spring such as to festivals or other outdoor events, or even if you want to think about warmer weather days. 

This tie dye is created by pinching the fabric in a circular way and  putting it into rubber bands. You dip the fabric bit by bit into the colors. 

Choose the bullseye tie dye style especially when you want a fun tee or other item that is tie dyed. 

Candy corn tie dye - Now the candy corn tie dye style is one we know you will want to get to know. It is ideal for Halloween (of course!), but also for the Fall season and even if you have a fun party, such as one with a candy or sweet theme. 

As you can imagine a candy corn tie dye tee or home decor item has dye stripes

across it, thick and bold in white, orange and yellow. Just like a piece of candy


To DIY a candy corn tie dye shirt is fairly simple, you make thick, colorful stripes

on the tee or other item using the dye. The most important thing is to keep both the

yellow and orange stripes even, just as they are on a piece of sweet candy corn. 

Chevron tie dye - One of our favorite modern tie dye styles is the Chevron. With 

bright and bold stripes. This tee you will most often see either with two to four

stripe colors, usually not more than this. 

We love this tee to wear to the beach or pool, as the reflection of the water will

easily show the stripes moving across the water - and you can see the tie dye colors

floating all around you - which is just oh so hippie! 

If you make a Chevron tee or other item it is fairly simple. The trickiest thing is

deciding what stripe colors you want and in what order you want them. We suggest you write this down before you start dipping the tee into the dye, to get the best results. 

Crumple tie dye - Here is a classic tie dye type, the Crumple style. You may have seen this at a concert or a festival but not instantly recognized what type it is. Some truly admire the splotches. You can really see the subtlety in the colors, and the nuances in the artistry of tie dye. 

For the most part when you see the Crumple tie dye tee or other item, this is in a single color and shade. Often a muted color, not a vibrant one. This is one of the things we love about it. Many people look at the Crumple style and are instantly reminded of looking at clouds and the sky peeking through, then clouds becoming wispier or thicker, to change the look of the sky. 

To create a Crumple tie dye item it is simple in that you actually start by "crumpling" it, and then add rubber bands, next dip it in dye. Once it has dried you undo the bands and admire the amazing tie dye you've created. 

Eyeball tie dye - An Eyeball tie dye is certainly a different look. You won't see this everyday. But it is a fun, modern style tie dye that we know will make you smile. It's perfect for when you want others to notice your tie dye look, especially if you are going somewhere like a festival or party, where you know others will also be wearing eye catching clothing (sorry, we could not resist the pun!). 

When you wear or decorate with Eyeball tie dye, it is easy to feel like someone is looking at you, because that's what it feels like the eyeball is doing. 

To DIY this tie dye, you need to start by creating the outline of the eyeball and then the center of the eyeball. Then design the tie dye pattern of the shirt. Yes, this tie dye shirt does take a bit more time than some of the others, but if it is one you like, most would consider it to be worth it. 

Firecracker tie dye - Here is a tie dye tee that is perfect to celebrate the 4th of July

or simply to be U.S.A. patriotic. Best of all, it is simple to make, so you can DIY these

tees or some fun home decor such as pillows or a banner for your 4th of July party or military family member or friend's homecoming. 

The firecracker colors are red, white and blue. When you use a white cloth item, then you need blue and red dye. To create this, you'll want to make thick, bold stripes of red and blue and then add a few vertical stripes by attaching rubber bands and rolling your item before dipping. 

We think the Firecracker tie dye makes an excellent gift item too. Imagine if you gave these tees to your family and friends before going to watch the fireworks. Or if you did these tees as a fun family activity over the summer. There is so much to like about the firecracker tee! 

Galaxy tie dye - There's a lot to love about Galaxy tie dye! This is a fun, modern style of tee. But what we think will surprise you the most is that actually no tie dying occurs with it. Nevertheless, it is considered a tie dye tee. And so many enjoy Galaxy style items, so this tee is a popular one. 

To start DIY-ing your Galaxy tee, you need to add bleach in spiral stripes, so your black tee will have areas where bright, vivid color can fill the shirt. The most natural way for this to happen is to reach for the center of your shirt and twist until you have the whole front of the shirt as a twisted bunch of fabric, then to spray it. Do not spray too much, or you will have a tee that has lots of lighter areas. What makes a Galaxy tee truly awesome is when it is dark and then the bold colors pop through. 

Heart tie dye - Want to wear your "heart on your sleeve"? Or perhaps you want to wear it on the front of your tee - then the Heart tie dye tee is the perfect choice for you. This is an extremely popular choice in tie dye items. 

Making this tie dye tee takes a couple of steps but actually is more simple than one might realize. You start by creating the heart in the front of the tee. While some would be tempted to make the heart red (a classic heart color), we actually suggest you choose a lighter color, so your tee isn't too dark,

some of the more popular colors for hearts in the center are bright pink, bright green, lemon yellow and lavender. 

This tee or home decor item also makes a great gift item. Take a look at heart tie dye items especially when Valentine's Day or your wedding or first date anniversary is near, as this will have more meaning to giving it to someone special in your life. 

Ice dye tie dye - Not only does this tee look great, but it is super fun to make. Did you know why it is called an ice dye tie? Because you use ice to help add the dye to the shirt or other item you are dying. 

If you've seen the crumple tee, this will likely remind you of it. But no, it's not quite like that! The ice dye tie shirt has bright, colorful dyes that splotch together in vivid natural patterns, as if they were wildflowers in a field. This tee is best to do with at least 4 colors or even as many as 7 if you want an especially eye-catching look. 

Choose this as a great DIY project if you have a teen party or other social gathering, as making these tees is fun all the way from start to finish. Both the young and the young at heart will like seeing the amazing colors that pop from this shirt.  

Jack o'lantern tie dye - Want a fun tie dye tee for Halloween season? You need to take a look at the Jack o'lantern tie dye then. What we think will make you grin ear from ear - just like good ol' Jack, is this tee looks complicated but is actually quite simple to make. 

You start with a simple orange circle of dye in the middle. The outer edges of the tee the border the design you want to wrap in rubber bands and then dip in black dye. 

Once this is dry, either paint or draw in permanent marker a face on your Jack o'lantern. Any type of face that pleases you. It can be a funny face with a grin, a surprised face or even a super spooky face. 

This is a great tee to DIY for Halloween parties, or even to choose as your Halloween costume. 

Kaleidoscope tie dye - Psst! Do you love the Ice tie dye tee? Well this is another type of one, simply more colorful. That's why it is called Kaleidoscope, because there are more colors and slices and tiny bits of color throughout this tee. 

This tee is best to DIY with at least 6 colors, so you can truly appreciate it. When you tie it, you'll want

to use twine or something else, its best to not simply use rubber bands because you are tying it in a criss cross pattern like an "X" all the way across the tee. What makes this tie dye so amazing, is that the pattern covers the entire  shirt from sleeves and then neck to the bottom of the tee and front to back. 

If you ever looked in a kaleidoscope as a kid, then you could see the colors swirl in front of your eyes, that is what this shirt will remind you of. The swirling colors caught for a moment 

Rainbow tie dye - What could be more fun than a vivid rainbow in front of your eyes? This is a classic tie dye tee style. Rainbow tie dye has purple pink red orange yellow green and blue, yes! All of the colors of a rainbow.

This tie dye style is great to wear whether you are going to a festival or out with friends. Everyone will admire this on you. It is also especially ideal for home decor, such as throw pillows - that extra "pop" of color is easily noticed by everyone. 

If you like to DIY tie dye shirts or items, the rainbow one is pretty simple to make, but has impressive results. Whether or not you choose to use rubber bands or twine, you want to do either thick or thin stripes of bold color. Another choice is to use lighter colors for a softer rainbow image as a tie dye. 

Reverse tie dye - Do you like the Galaxy tee? A Reverse tie dye is a classic tee that likely inspired the Galaxy tee. You have a dark tee, such as a black, purple or forest green tee and then bleach a pattern on it and then add colors to it that look like tie dye. 

A fun way to do the Reverse tee is to have the circular pattern start at the edge of the shirt, instead of in the center. But choose the pattern that you prefer the most. The reverse style of coloring is what makes this tee stand out, not the actual pattern. 

Shibori tie dye - Shibori is a Japanese style of dying fabric, which we have now used for tie dye styles. To create this tee, what is most important is twisting the tee properly and also using a dark, strong blue dye. The special blue color of dye is what Shibori is most known for. 

We love the look of this tee. One fun thing you can do with Shibori is try to DIY your own sheets, pillows and even curtains with soft cotton fabric. This is a very classic pattern but also has a unique look that we know will add a distinction to your home. 

Take a look at adding Shibori tie dye to your wardrobe too. It especially looks good either with white or black


Spider tie dye - Doesn't this look amazing? No, this spider is not creepy crawly. You'll notice the black pattern stretched through the tee. Then so much bright vibrant color in the tee. 

Even if spiders are not a beloved insect of yours, we think you may like this tee. If both the Reverse or Galaxy tee catch your eye, then this one may be one that you admire. 

This is a fun tie dye to DIY too. Do keep in mind the pattern does not have to be perfect. But we think you'll be pleased with the colorful results. 

Spiral tie dye - The Spiral tee is one of the most classic designs in tie dye styles. This is one you'll see often at concerts and festivals and other events. It also is a very popular one to DIY, to give to family and friends. 

When you see the Spiral tie dye, usually it is a rainbow palette of colors - from purple through red and then yellow and all the way to blue, just like a rainbow in the sky. 

If you are new to owning tie dye tees, probably this is one you'll want to get first. Its a tie dye style you will see many places. A spiral is considered sacred geometry and many hippies love the visual pattern of one, not only in tie dye but also in other things such as clothing or home decor patterns.  

Star tie dye - Hey, are you a star, or do you know one? Then we know you'll want a Star tie dye shirt. The Star is a modern tie dye style & one of the most popular ones you'll see available today. Both women and men like to wear the Star tie dye, This is a fun tee, and it is also an ideal tie dye design to find on home decor items, especially if you love a celestial/Boho motif for your home. 

This can be an adorable tee to give to little ones too, think about that beloved phrase we say to children "Wish on a Star." 

The trickiest thing about DIY-ing this tee is pinching and folding the parts of the tee that create the outline of the star. Some like to only have a star on the tee, but others also want to add a border to the tee, to perfectly

frame the star as well.  

Stripes tie dye - Here is a classic tie dye style we know you'll want to add to your Boho wardrobe. Most tie dye tees have dots, swirls or other curvy shapes. But with the Stripes tee - this is only straight stripes. You can choose to do horizontal or vertical stripes. 

Most choose to do horizontal stripes. This could look like many things you see in nature, such as the waves of the ocean or a sunrise or sunset. When you choose the colors, you can make it look like this. You can select bold or very soft colors, whatever you think would look best. 

One way you've already seen this tie dye design is as a Rainbow tie dye style. So if you're tempted to create Rainbow stripes, we are not surprised at all. This can be a fun choice!

Sunburst tie dye - Who doesn't love a Sunburst tee? This is one of the most popular tie dye tees that we know you'll want to add to your collection. 

It's vivid, colorful and you simply can't take your eyes away. While the classic sunburst does have yellow, orange, red and perhaps purple too, just like a sunset, you can also make them with other colors and have fantastic results. 

Ombre tie dye - If you've seen and adored the Ombre tie dye tee, then you've noticed this is a modern style tie dye we know you'll want to add to your hippie tee collection. 

Most who have an ombre tie dye tee have one with few colors, such as one or two and then show the subtle change of shades in it. But you can also create this with three or even four colors and have a beautiful tee we know you'll love wearing. 

Watercolor tie dye - The Watercolor tie dye is a popular new, modern tee style we know you'll want to wear. Some think that watercolor is only soft and subtle - not true! One of the amazing things about watercolor is that the colors bloom and burst forth, affected as if strengthened or softened by water. 

This tee is ideal when you choose to do it with four or more colors, so you can appreciate the combination of colors as they gently blend together. The Watercolor style is also perfect for home decor items such as pillows or banners. 

Well, now you've discovered some of the most popular Classic and Modern tie dye styles! If you're a hippie (and we know you are!), then we bet you probably already have at least 1 or 2 of these in your closet or home decor. We do hope that we've helped you to discover some new-to-you favorites to add to your wardrobe, not only for this season but beyond that as well. Hippies Love Tie Dye! 

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wow. I loved reading your work


Thanks for the idea. I used to tie-dye in my teens. It will be fun to do with kids now.


Hey, I didnt know Tie Dye had so many varities and options in it. Wow. Such an amazing post

Manju SM

Really great informative article! I had no idea there were different types of tie dye styles. Now I have some new ideas of what to add to my wardrobe!

Lenore | The Nitty Gritty Travel OT

Wow very thorough guide, can’t wait to try this!!!!


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