6 ways the Grateful Dead and tie-dye have transformed America’s look

(BPT) – The Beatles had their signature haircut, and the Stones celebrated Mick Jagger’s lips with their mouth-and-tongue logo, but few bands have made a look their own as thoroughly as the Grateful Dead and tie-dye. Granted, the Dead didn’t invent tie-dye – the technique originated in India thousands of years ago. But the band’s embrace of the parti-hued look and the freewheeling lifestyle it represented in the 1960s certainly contributed to the popularity of the American style of tie-dye with its bold striations of bright color.

Today, tie-dye is a uniquely American look, and practically every kid – and plenty of adults – will have at least one tie-dyed shirt in their wardrobe. But tie-dye’s appeal reaches far beyond attire; you can find it represented virtually everywhere, from home decor to electronics and even vehicles and flowers. As the Grateful Dead celebrates their 50th anniversary, here are six unexpected ways Americans are using tie-dye to color their world.

1. Auto accessories – Are your modest Deadhead and peace-symbol window stickers looking a bit lonely? Could your ride stand a bit more personality? Tie-dye is everywhere in automobile accessories, from steering wheel covers and hubcaps to seat covers and organizer pockets. If you really want to show your love for the Dead and all things tie-dye, you can go totally over the top with a vinyl tie-dyed vehicle wrap that covers your ride from bumper to bumper, and roof to wheel.

2. Wall decor – It’s no challenge to find framed prints and pictures that feature a tie-dye theme. But for the truly adventurous tie-dye lover, there’s tie-dyed wallpaper and faux painting. While you may have to pay a pro to do the painting, or spend hours doing it yourself, tie-dyed wallpaper makes it fast and easy to make a bold, colorful statement in any room.

3. Flowers – What could make a bouquet even more beautiful? Tie-dyed flowers! You can make your own tie-dyed roses, but it will take a lot of work. You’re better off celebrating your love of this psychedelic pattern and the Grateful Dead with FTD’s Tie-Dyed Roses, the same tie-dyed flowers handed out at the Grateful Dead’s recent Fare Thee Well concerts in Santa Clara and Chicago. FTD teamed up with Peter Shapiro and Madison-House Presents to surprise fans by handing out tie-dyed roses during the first night concert in each city.

4. Furniture – Using a piece of furniture as the focal point of a room is a common decorating tactic. That focal point becomes a bold statement when you opt for a tie-dyed piece, such as a couch, chair or even an armoire. Tie-dye isn’t limited to upholstery, either. Some boutique furniture makers and craftsmen offer wooden items painted in tie-dyed patterns. If you’re a DIYer, giving your favorite piece of furniture a tie-dye flair can be as easy as using some fabric and paint.

5. Pet products – Just as every guy should have at least one tie-dyed t-shirt, every pet needs at least one tie-dyed product, be it a collar, bed or toy. An online search yields mountains of merchandise that allows you to blend your love of tie-dye with your love of your dog or cat. You can find harnesses, hoodies, sweaters and blankets in tie-dye patterns.

6. Weddings – Colorful wedding dresses are a growing trend, and brides who truly want to go their own way can opt for a tie-dyed wedding dress. A variety of options are available, from gowns that play out the theme from shoulder to hem, and others that incorporate tie-dye accents at the waist or on the train. Brides can also parlay tie-dye throughout their theme, from table linens and table centerpieces to bridesmaid gowns, groomsmen’s ties and cummerbunds, and even bouquets.


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