Sorry to break it to you, but if you’re buying wholesale tie dye, then you’re probably not buying individually hand tied and dyed originals.
Dyers have tricks of the trade to get consistency on simple designs and ways to make multiples of these designs, it’s true. But I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen printed tie dye designs. As in, the fabric is printed with a copy of a tie dye design on it rather than the blank actually being tied and then dyed.
Bulk isn’t always bad.
If you choose to buy bulk, that’s totally your prerogative. Shoot, I like Costco as much as any other red-blooded American. I impulsively buy giant jars of jalapeño garlic stuffed olives (Oh, I WILL eat all of those.) And I always stock up on the big jar of pesto. Let’s be honest, I can’t MAKE pesto for that cheap! And I grow my own basil! I mean, have you SEEN the price of pine nuts? #WHADDAJOKE #COSTCOfever #iLOVEpesto – Wow, note to self: never blog on an empty stomach. Thank God, I’ve got a giant jar of jalepeño garlic stuffed olives in the fridge.
*Eats about a hundred olives*
Okay, where was I? Oh yeah. Wholesale tie dye shirts that are carbon-copy identical to one another are not tie dye, because no matter how close to the same thing you get with tie dye, it’s never a carbon copy. The strength at which you pull the sinew (the waxed string we use) affects the width of a line, or absence of a line if you wanted it left loose so colors bleed together. The dye placement, no matter if you’re using an EYE DROPPER will never be 100% identical. Before dyeing, is the shirt wet, damp, mostly dry, or bone dry? Because that’s also going to affect how dye is absorbed by the shirt and in what pattern it spreads. What I’m trying to get at is that there is a reason you can get “wholesale tie dye” in bulk and the shirts all have the exact same lines, spots of dye, saturation, etc. That reason is they were printed that way. There may have been printing dye involved, but there was no tying. Therefore, NOT tie dye.
How can you tell whether or not your wholesale tie dye shirts are legit or just faux-dye?
Usually, the artist or reseller will have a disclaimer on their website or in their shop saying that no two tie dyes are the same and you agree to the terms that your shirt won’t look exactly like the image shown, blah, blah, blah. I have that here on Miss American Dye, and my fellow dyers do, too. We don’t have disclaimers to merely save our behinds, but to also express that what you are getting is completely custom, unique, and hand tie dyed. And we figure our customers are looking for unique!
Perhaps I’m preaching to the choir. Perhaps you already love ensuring you buy handmade or know where your food is grown or look for ethically sourced options for the products you buy. But I thought I’d share (just in case you didn’t know) that the wholesale tie dye printed shirts you can get at the big stores are basically like the Roy-Bans I bought for a dollar in Kuwait.
Cheaper, perhaps, but not fooling anyone.