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Tie-Dye Is Back

August 04, 1988

Tie-dye clothing conjures up images of the psychedelic '60s and Grateful Dead concerts, but 21 years after the summer of love, that curiously dyed fabric is creeping back to boutiques throughout Los Angeles.

Never mind that some who sport tie-dye today weren't even born when the fad first swept the nation. This time around, the garments are worn more as fashion statements than counterculture ones.

"It's real popular right now," says sales clerk Melony Barnett of Zulu, a Melrose Avenue clothing emporium. "Last year, everyone was wearing big peace signs. This year, all the kids are wearing tie-dye."

In the San Fernando Valley, tie-dye can be found up and down Ventura Boulevard.

The Shoe and Clothing Connection in Encino sells red-and-white tie-dye cotton sweaters for $50. Da Da Da in Sherman Oaks carries brassiere-type tops and baggy pants for $45.

The tie-dye process refers to a method of dying designs on cloth by tightly tying bunches of it with waxed thread so that the dye affects only exposed parts.

Typically, the cloth is a casual cotton fabric and the vibrant red, orange, blue, green and fuchsia colors unfurl across the garment like a kaleidoscopic sunburst.

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