Textile Trend: Contemporary Takes on Tie-Dye, Shibori & Ombré
Anyone convinced that tie-dye exists only to satisfy the nostalgia of the ’60s generation need only look around to see how contemporary design has transformed the bleeding edges of this quintessential hippie fabric pattern into cutting-edge applications that look very much at home in the 21st Century. Brands and designers may be reaching back to the past for their inspiration, but the multi-colored sunbursts and neon hues of the psychedelic generation have been replaced by tie-dye textile influences—its Japanese cousin, Shibori, and ombré dip-dye gradients are included in this trend—that pack the restraint, geometry, and elegance that modern design enthusiasts will be hard-pressed to resist.
The Australian interior design firm, Sparkk, oversees an impressive fabric collection, designed and digitally printed in Australia. Their Shibori range of upholstery fabrics includes a wide range of motifs—like Shibori Star, featured above, a handsome criss-cross pattern that looks unexpectedly fresh in charcoal and white.
If there’s a season for tie-dye, it surely must be summer—and the printing studio, Sweet Peony Press, sweetly captures the carefree breeziness we attach to tie-dye fabrics with an illustration of Endless Summer that needs no further words.
Textile brand Surya’s new offerings include the Dip-Dyed collection of bedding, in which ombré (French for shade) motifs are offered up in the guise of dreamy duvets and shams. Pitch-perfect for a summer bedroom redo, irresistible in shades of raspberry and navy, the Surya Dip-Dyed collection is—we’ll say it—to dye for.
Italian designer Paola Navone has always had a soft corner for blues, and her collaboration with NLXL has yielded Addiction Wallpapers, a collection of watery motifs that invoke the textile markings of Shibori. The Japanese technique of tie-dye, dating back to the 8th Century, is most closely identified by the ancient dye that gave Shibori its visual appeal: indigo.
Fashion’s ongoing love affair with tie-dye is evident in the offerings of Canadian accessories brand Infuse—where a whole range of exquisite textiles, like the Triangle Itajime Shibori Wool Shawl, woven in vivid red-orange Merino wool, illustrate that Shibori’s beauty can extend well beyond the limits of indigo and white.
No doubt, one of tie-dye’s appeal has been its DIY possibilities—who of a certain age can’t recall tying a plain white T-shirt into twists and knots and dipping it in a bucket of dye?—and the craft store Jo-Ann Fabrics has a useful tutorial on how to turn an ordinary tablecloth into a summery outdoor wow.
Shibori Collezione is a collection of luxury carpets from Australian brand Tapetti in which hand tufted 100% wool carpets—customized by color, shape and size—have been given the visual patterning of Shibori. The Fold motif, featured above, showcases a geometric tie-dye arrangement in the traditional Shibori colors of blue and white.