Tie-dye soon became the dress-code of New York’s Greenwich Village. Adopted by underground subcultures as a uniform, tie dye was a physical embodiment of their DIY attitude and psychedelic music taste.
Over the next few years, the dye’s popularity grew stronger. Mr Price commissioned artists to make hundreds of tie-dye T-shirts with Rit’s revolutionary new dye, and in 1969 they were carted off to be sold at a mysterious new music festival on a dairy farm in rural New York. Woodstock promised three days of peace and music, attracted over 400,000 serene revellers, and later became known as the cultural birthplace of tie-dye. Clashing colours and swirling patterns stretched as far as the eye could see; if you were wearing clothes, you were wearing tie-dye. The look was immortalised by hippy godmother Janis Joplin, who stepped out on stage in her own tie-dyed T-shirt and flares, cementing it as the uniform of the festival.
Fast forward 20 years and Britain has a tie-dye revolution of its own. Fondly referred to as the second summer of love, teenagers go mad for acid house and tie dye makes a comeback on baggy T-shirts and bucket hats, worn by Frankie Knuckles fans in Manchester’s Haçienda. Once again tie dye becomes a uniform for likeminded kids, making waves across fields and warehouses up and down the country.
Today, tie-dye lives on. Its legacy as a subcultural uniform immortalised through pop culture references over the years. From Woodstock to Wayne’s World; Clueless to Rave Culture, the psychedelic swirls of tie-dye are a symbol of togetherness. A countercultural uniform for troops of revellers in joyful protest.