Tie Dye: From Japan to Instagram

Tie dye is back. And better than ever before!

With the world in lockdown, we may have become banana-bread-obsessed, but it’s clear that the art of tie-dyeing has become the comfort baking of the fashion world this summer. Before we all jump headfirst into our wardrobes, looking for pieces to get creative with, let’s dive deeper into the Japanese beginnings of Instagram’s latest trend. We’ll then serve up some serious style inspiration so that everyone can get on board.

Let the tie-dyeing commence…

Japanese Shibori

The History of Tie-Dye in Asia

We all know tie-dye fashion is not a new trend – it tends to be associated with the 1960s flower power era. Many of us automatically see Janis Joplin at Woodstock as soon as tie dye is mentioned: it’s been a pretty constant fashion trend ever since.

Tie-dye had another major fashion moment in the ‘90s, when grunge took over. Fast forward to 2020 and as we all look for new ways to entertain ourselves during lockdown, tie-dye is back with a vengeance.

But where did tie-dye even come from in the first place? You might be surprised to learn that the art of tie-dyeing has been around for hundreds of years in Japan, using an intricate dying technique called Shibori. The technique first originated in China, and like tie-dyeing, it’s a manual dyeing technique that involves folding and twisting cloth before dipping it in dye.

Is there a difference between Shibori and tie-dyeing then? The simple answer: yes.

Whilst Shibori is indeed very similar to the tie-dye we know and love, Shibori tends to only use one colour of dye. This is usually a blue (or indigo) dye: not the rainbow colours usually associated with typical tie-dye. Shibori artists also focus on specific threads to create their designs, instead of just twisting and tying (and hoping for the best!)

To understand the popularity of Shibori, there is even a museum dedicated to the textile history of Japan – The Kyoto Shibori Museum. There are also many DIY Shibori tutorials available online. Be sure to share your creations with us at Sienna Bleu if you try them out!

The Japanese see Shibori as an art form, and many contemporary designers still use the technique today. Japanese brands such as Suzusan have developed new and innovative Shibori procedures and designs, whilst maintaining the passion and heritage of the traditional Japanese craft. Like many other companies, Suzusan still create the textiles in the town of Arimatsu, where Shibori is the signature product to this day.

Tap Into Tye-Dye

Now you know where the art of tie-dyeing began, at Sienna Bleu we’re here to help get you started with the latest SS20 trend. Whether you choose to go down the DIY route, or buy your tie-dye ready made, we’re going to be sharing some serious style inspiration to up your game this summer.

Summer Hues

Photo credit: Instagram

Inject some tie-dye into your summer wardrobe with an on-trend bikini. Don’t feel brave enough to go with head-to-toe tie-dye? Then pair a colour blocking swimsuit with a brightly dyed shirt and matching headband. The Sienna Bleu Control Body Shaping Costume works perfectly for this look.

Denim Delight

Photo credit: Instagram

Dress up your tie-dye with a denim co-ord à la Dior. Taking inspiration from Shibori style, mix indigo dye with light denim for this sophisticated tie-dye look.

Keeping It Subtle

Photo credit: Instagram

Add a little spice to an otherwise simple outfit with a touch of tie-dye. This look is a subtle way to get involved with the trend, whilst staying true to your personal style. It’s a great way to give your tie-dye a chic upgrade.


Photo credit: Instagram

Follow in Winnie Harlow’s footsteps with some groovy loungewear. Turn up the heat a little and swap the sweatpants for something a little sexier. Shop thongs now and turn your lingerie into loungewear!

Nicely Nude

Photo credit: Pinterest

Tie-dye doesn’t always have to be bright! This co-ord is super versatile, and the nude ombré colours help give off a lovely summery vibe. The perfect casual look, which could be easily DIYed!

Top-To-Toe Tye-Dye

Gigi and Emily shows us exactly how it’s done! Bright, bold and beautiful, this look is sure to grab attention. Wear your tie-dye with pride this summer.

And there you have it! From Japan to Instagram, it’s clear that this is a trend ‘tie dye for’ (sorry, we couldn’t resist). From loungewear to bikinis, dresses to co-ords, tie-dye is something that everyone can tap into this summer.

How did you get on with your DIY creations? Remember to share your tips in the comments below!

Tagged , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: