Tie-dye carries the same DIY ethos that the e-commerce site Etsy was founded upon. A celebration of beauty derived from variation, color and chaos, the process behind tie-dye employs ancient techniques—though the term “tie-dye” only dates back to the ’60s. On Etsy, creators have found hundreds of ways to apply these techniques to everything from shirts to vases and planters. In a time when independent makers and sellers need support, we dug through the site to find several favorites. We hope they appeal to longtime lovers of tie-dye, as well as those who can appreciate what it represents.
Wade-Timofey’s Russia-Alaska Collaboration Tapestry
A tale of collaboration across continents, this unique one-off Wade-Timofey’s Russia-Alaska Collaboration Tapestry ($475) began with Russian spiral master Timofey Malyarov. Malyarov dyed the swirling, spiral pattern before shipping it to artist Wade Gruhl in Alaska, where the other design components were added. It’s a wondrous wall-hanging, though it can be used in any way one imagines.
With the Ice Dye Kit ($40)—available in either reef, peony or wildflower color sets—first-timers acquire everything they need to try out ice-dyeing. This process involves fiber-reactive dye and delivers the mesmerizing swirls one hopes for. Each kit comes with a 100% cotton bandana (26 by 26 inches) to get started, as well as pattern suggestions, tips and tricks.
Ice-Dyed Rope Planter
Available in several sizes and hues, this 100% cotton rope planter ($15) has been ice-dyed by Charlotte Rigby (aka No Slouch Studios) in London. Made by hand, this particular iteration measures 12cm tall, with an equal sized base. Perfect for hiding plastic pots and adding extra color to a room.
Vintage Nemadji Vase
Identifiable by their marbled, colorful exteriors and a faded “Nemadji” stamp on their base, this category of vintage pottery was produced exclusively by the Nemadji Tile & Pottery in Moose Lake, Minnesota—which was in operation from 1929 until 2001. The swirled, nearly tie-dye objects (which range from wide-mouth vases to double-bud bulbs) were circulated throughout the US and done using indigenous clays and house paints. Due to the process used to dye them, no two look exactly the same and plenty boast some sort of structural imperfection. This particular vase ($36) features striking strokes of pink, black and earthy yellow, and stands tall and wide enough to accommodate a small bouquet.
Custom Super Spiral T-shirt
Featuring a psychedelic swirl (that won’t fade) of epic proportions, Maximilian Kozlov’s custom super-spiral T-shirt ($60) draws eyes inward and teases the brain. Fiber-reactive dyes were used on top of 100% cotton jersey. As they’re all hand-dyed, no two will ever be exactly the same—though they’ll elicit the same sort of reaction, for sure.
Images courtesy of respective brands, hero image by Josh Rubin