Why Don’t I Tie- Dye in Taiwan?

Tie-dye? Who likes tie-dyed things? I do not. I do not despise it although, I am fine without it. However, in the spring, my Chinese language teacher (with probably the best of intentions for her students to appreciate this craft while immersing ourselves in the language) arranged for us, her students, to attend a DIY tie-dyeing workshop.

This post is in no way going to tell you how to tie-dye or is going to pretend to be artistic and discuss the vibrant patterns people who prefer this style don on the streets. You may disagree with me. But here, I will simply talk about how that day went for me. You may read on if you are interested to know what my perspective was.

So, one Saturday in February, back when everyone just started panicking about the now pandemic (you guessed right! Covid19! ) my class went to Sanxia Old Street in Taipei, Taiwan, torn how to tie-dye. At first, I thought the tie-dyeing shop was cool! When you get there, you would see a variety of things that ate mostly in deep blue. The items they sold there, from T-shirts, bags, pouches, etc., were not bad at all! They looked cute! Just like those little Japanese things you see everywhere these days! Too cute! That you would take them home, but honestly, you do not need them. And they would end up in one corner of your house. It will not ever see the light of day. But, to me, they were expensive!


When it was time for us to start, we had to choose what item we want to tie-dye. It took quite a while for us to pick, or maybe it was just me! I sometimes focus too much on my own experience. My apologies! So, I chose a kind of a small beige knapsack that cost 400NTD or 450NTD. It has been a while I am just updating my draft now. I can not be exact about the price anymore! But it was definitely over 400NTD.

After selecting the things my classmates and I wanted to work on, we were directed to another room where they do a tie-die crash course. There were over ten patterns to choose from depending on the pattern. Then the teacher told us how to tie our cloth around a pair of chopsticks using a couple of rubber bands. This part is easy!

On to the next part of the adventure! We went to an area with gigantic jars containing pungent-smelling dyeing liquid. They only had their dye in blue. I believe they store and use again as they just put the lid back on. Or maybe it is a part of a process to keep a formula for dyeing. First, we submerged our cloth in the jar of indigo color liquid. Then, massaged the cloth in the dyeing liquid for a few minutes to make sure the dye seeps through the cloth; rinsed the cloth with clean water which turns the color from a kind of green pigment to dark blue; then repeat the process once more; then hung the cloth to dry. That is it! It was a short workshop and it did feel good to be with my classmates.

As we let the cloths dry, my classmates and I roamed around the old street. I sampled the different kinds of food sold there. Now, I enjoyed it the most! Afterward, we had lunch together and roam around some more under the scorching heat. If I will be honest, that day, there was not much to enjoy. I can almost feel the aura of boredom coming out of everyone. Afterward, we went back to the shop and picked up our dyed cloth or items. I got a DIY tie-dyed bag I show off since then!

It was nice to see the place and look around a bit and tie-dyeing was a good experience. Although I don’t think I’d travel back there just to do another work shop. I’ll probably do it at home if I ever get the interest to dye some more. It has been months and I haven’t gotten the inkling to do it!

So, how do I conclude this post? I did not find tie-dyeing exciting. I was with a great group of people trying to enjoy the day. The aimless walk and the jokes that popped up now and then were that days’ fun adventure. Point goes to end up being satisfied.



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