I Didn’t Think I Liked Tie-Dye Until Etsy Convinced Me to Get Twisted

Photo: Stocksy/Chalit Saphaphak
I am a minimalist at heart, but I still experience the occasional moment when I need to be the most. It's is a good year to be alive for that because there's no stopping the tie-dye design trend in home decor. “2019 is the year of maximalism, so it only makes sense that modern trends are pulling inspiration from the ‘70s—a decade full of textures, colors, and patterns,” says Etsy's trend expert Dana Isom Johnson.

Tie-dye started to pop up on on the runways of designers Proenza Schouler, Stella McCartney, and Christian Dior. The print has since made its way into workout clothes (see: The Upside, Athleta, and Spiritual Gangster) and now, it's coming for home decor. The term "tie-dye home decor" has been searched 267K times on Etsy in the past three months.

My first exposure to tie-dye was in middle school. Inexplicably, every year we would do a DIY tie-dye T-shirt. (We also learned how to churn butter. Is this a normal childhood experience or was this just growing up in Oregon?) They never had any black dye, which really shook me to my Hot Topic-devoted core. I settled for soaking my shirt for as long possible in the deep blues and purples. It would have been just plain embarrassing to listen to Evanescence in a colorful tie-dye T-shirt.

Luckily, I have evolved. And so has the tie-dye design trend. 2019's take on tie-dye is very much like Taylor Swift's new Instagram aesthetic, with a lot of light, airy pastels. The effect is very soothing, like the home decor equivalent of taking CBD. And while we mostly associate tie-dye with the '60s and '70s, similar dying techniques have been used in other countries for centuries, such as the Japanese method called shibori.

Because I have a tendency to go from zero to 100 real quick, I'm already considering taking the techniques I learned in middle school and DIY-ing the covers on my white sofa into a tie-dyed masterpiece. At the very least, it'll do a good job of hiding the red wine stains from that one time I thought myself responsible enough to drink Chianti on a white couch. This is mostly a joke, but I did order a DIY tie-dye kit online, so we shall see what happens.

The groovy (cut me some slack, I had to get that in here at least once) thing about the tie-dye is that it can be used with statement pieces or as accents. If you want to dip your feet into the trend, Isom Johnson recommends starting with your bedding. "The hand-dyed pattern gives off a very wabi sabi feel that’s perfect for a not-so-put-together bedroom vibe," she explains. "If you’re not ready to fully commit to the trend, try starting out with a tie-dye accent pillow or throw blanket.” So, maybe I should use a tie-dye blanket to cover up that wine stain instead?

Another home decor trend to try: peel stick wallpaper. Plus, this two second test will tell you if your pillow is past its expiration date

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