- DIY tie-dying is becoming one of the biggest trends of quarantine.
- Designer loungewear outfits in tie-dye prints can retail for a pretty penny, but many YouTube and TikTok creators are showing how to make tie-dye sweatsuits using fabric dyes and inexpensive clothes.
- The at-home craft involves few supplies — some people are even using bleach to give their clothes a tie-dyed effect.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
There might be a shortage of jigsaw puzzles on Amazon, but for many people, purchasing a tie-dye kit and transforming an otherwise plain outfit into a rainbow masterpiece is the next best way to unwind and find joy while stuck at home.
Search terms like “DIY tie-dye” and “tie-dye sweatsuit” surged in popularity on Google and YouTube the last week of March, and tie-dye kits are among Amazon’s current best sellers in Arts, Crafts, & Sewing.
The process for creating the vibrant print isn’t anything new, but the nostalgia factor of tie-dying, plus the ease and ability to find tutorials online, is making it a popular quarantine pastime.
Several YouTube creators have recently leaned into tie-dying, pegging the colorful activity as the ultimate social distancing boredom cure.
For example, “Tie Dyeing Everything In My Closet Cuz I’m Stuck At Home” by YouTube creator Lauren Riihimaki, also known as LaurDIY, has received more than half a million views in a little over a week.
Other YouTube hosts, such as Kristee Vetter, Jordyn Rebecca, and Brooke Miccio, have shown thousands of viewers how they transformed plain sweatsuits purchased from Amazon for $20 or less into Urban Outfitters-worthy loungewear sets — which can retail for hundreds of dollars — using tie-dye kits and bleach.
TikTok is also a tie-dye treasure trove in its own right, with tons of tutorials that show users how different techniques and supplies, like bleach (and even toilet cleaner that contains bleach), can be used to achieve certain patterns or effects.
With the exception of purchasing fabric dye products — whether online or from an in-person store — or clothes to be dyed, the craft can be replicated at home at a relatively low cost and with minimal supplies, YouTube creator Brooke Miccio told Insider.
Miccio said she thinks the DIY tie-dye projects are increasingly popular among her viewers who are social distancing because people can upcycle clothes that they already own without leaving the house.
“They are repurposing classic items that many people can find in their closets,” Miccio said.
Loose shirts in tie-dye prints were a central part of the hippie clothing aesthetic that perpetuated the 1960s in the US, according to the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Fashion History Timeline, but the fabric treatment dates back much further than that.
Fashion historians have traced origins of tie-dying back to ancient Japan and India, as well as other ancient civilizations that have a rich history of using the technique to color clothing.
Recently, tie-dye has made its way back into the fashion world. Some experts say tie-dye’s comeback is due to the turbulent, Trump-era political climate.
The style fad known as VSCO-girl fashion, which has been popularized by Gen-Z users on TikTok, also includes a lot of tie-dye and pastel-colored clothing. The colorful print even made its way to a Starbucks Frappuccino.
While the technicolor pattern isn’t everyone’s taste, DIY renditions of the style are helping people relax, stay occupied, and feel creative. Therefore, it’s unlikely that the print will be disappearing anytime soon — until tie-dye kits are sold out on Amazon, that is.