Shabd’s New How-To Book: ‘Tie-Dye: Dye It, Wear It, Share It’

Goodlifer: Shabd's New How-To Book: In Tie-Dye: Dye It, Wear It Share It

The art of tie dye might seem like a trippy pastime complete with flower-crowned hippies celebrating Summer of Love chic, but this historic, alchemical technique is actually a time-honored textile tradition preserved by various cultures from around the globe. Pre-Columbian tie dye from Peru dates as far back as 500 AD, and shibori from Japan and indigo dyeing techniques from West Africa are very much a part of the modern dyer’s repertoire.

Brooklyn-based artist and fashion designer Shabd Simon-Alexander of Shabd now shares this deep vat of ancient wisdom and the unlimited possibilities for contemporary fashion resourcefulness in her timely new book, Tie-Dye: Dye It, Wear It, Share It.

Goodlifer: Shabd's New How-To Book: In Tie-Dye: Dye It, Wear It Share It

Shabd has selected her own inspirational ideas and DIY projects alongside well-researched historical sources, color theory, and material instruction expertise for the artful interpretation of tie-dye as a modern fashion expression. Perfect for the novice as well as anyone looking to have a more grounded understanding of tie-dye’s basic rules, this timely publication is also an ideal way to experiment with summer wardrobe re-invention. Leggings, t-shirts, home goods, and lackluster garments from your own personal wardrobe might now be infused with a rainbow of vibrant color via simple dip-dye or ombre-infused projects.

Goodlifer: Shabd's New How-To Book: In Tie-Dye: Dye It, Wear It Share It

“In Tie-Dye: Dye It, Wear It Share It, I share my techniques for creating the innovative styles that I’ve developed over the years. Packed with my design secrets, color guidance, expert tips on making each piece distinctly your own, and twenty-two step-by-step projects for garments, accessories, and home décor items, this book will soon have you creating sophisticated pieces yourself.”

Goodlifer: Shabd's New How-To Book: Tie-Dye: Dye It, Wear It, Share It

The art of tie-dye has been around for nearly two thousands years, and its history is filled with intriguing stories of travel, trade, religion and culture from ancient times through to the present day. Known all over the world by different names: ‘shibori’ in Japan, ‘bandhani’ or ‘leheria’ in India, ‘plangi’ or ‘tritik’ in Indonesia, ‘adire’ in Nigeria, ‘amarra’ in Peru, ‘zha-ran’ in China, the tradition of tie-dye is still alive and well. Practiced throughout the world, established techniques serve as the foundation for the innovative designs seen everywhere from rural villages to high fashion runways.

– Shabd Simon-Alexander of Shabd

Goodlifer: Shabd's New How-To Book: In Tie-Dye: Dye It, Wear It Share It

This artist/fashion designer is no newcomer to one-on-one instruction as a favorite teacher at the Textile Arts Center as well as a creative voice in workshops worldwide. Her own label, Shabd, has elevated tie-dye dressing to an almost seductive level with a bold palette and surface design language that genuinely pushes the medium. With Miu Miu and Racquel Allegra also re-inventing the tie-dye aesthetic this season, it is empowering to now have a guide that allows the individual to experiment with the creation of their pieces as well as create unique gifts for friends and family.

Goodlifer: Shabd's New How-To Book: Tie-Dye: Dye It, Wear It, Share It

Given that there have been public protests and folks taking to the streets in cities all over the globe these past few months, it seems fitting that tie-dye might also be experiencing a resurgence of sorts. As a community endeavor it sends the message of sharing as a way to create change and beauty — as an individual pursuit, it celebrates the message of “just let it be”. However you choose to interpret the process, we think that tie-dye is emblematic of the good life as a craft technique that is very much in touch with the present and the ebb and flow of future freedoms.

Goodlifer: Shabd's New How-To Book: Tie-Dye: Dye It, Wear It, Share It

Tie-Dye: Dye It, Wear It, Share It is available at the following sources. All images courtesy of Shabd and her publisher.

About author
An internationally exhibited fiber and environmental installation artist, Abigail’s eco-textile artwork is featured on Greenmuseum, Art Cloth Text, Landviews, the Textile Arts Center blog, and in the handbook, Green Guide for Artists. She has been a regular contributor on sustainable style and textiles for EcoSalon, Ecouterre, HAND/EYE magazine and her own art and fashion blogs, Ecco*Eco and Lost in Fiber. She is also a curator of exhibitions and events related to ideas about “fashioning self and the environment.” Future dreams of melding art, family, and sustainability include the thrifty recycling of textile scraps from her domestic sphere, teaching family recipes to her twin toddlers, and building a house from scratch in the American Southwest with her very resourceful and dashing husband.
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