A group of students gathered on Sunday Oct. 25 to tie-dye T-shirts for an event co-sponsored by Hippies for Hope and the Genesee Valley Cooperative. Held in the Mosaic Room of the MacVittie College Union, attendees stood around a long table adding vibrant colors to plain T-shirts.
The event was created when GVC member junior Jessica Beneway contacted her father Mac Beneway—who owned a tie-dye shop in the 1980s. With his help, members of GVC learned how to make dye. According to Jessica Beneway, GVC likes to plan events around learning new skills and doing projects outside of the classroom environment.
“You learn interesting stuff,” she said. “We try to coordinate with different clubs for these events.”
The same sentiment is shared by Hippies for Hope. “We do two to three tie-dye events a semester,” Hippies for Hope president junior Michelle Lindner said. “We understand the cleanup and logistics of it all and we love collaborating with other groups.” So when the GVC reached out in hopes of co-sponsoring the event, Hippies for Hope was more than happy to partner up.
There was a wide range of tie-dying skill levels amongst the attendees. Some participants were beginners while others had more experience with this form of art. Those that were more advanced were kind enough to share words of wisdom throughout the process to help fellow participants.
Mac Beneway went over different ways to fold T-shirts depending on the desired pattern. Though there are many different types to experiment with, the focus was on three basic designs. The first was the classic spiral, second was pleats—to create a striping effect—and the third was bunching up the shirt in order to create a crinkle pattern.
Some people combined these designs to bring even more life and excitement to the colorful shirts. For my shirt, I attempted to make spirals on the sleeves with a crinkle pattern on the body. While it may not have come out the way I planned, it was still a lot of fun to make.
Regardless of crafting skills, the participants expressed their enthusiasm for the event. “I love an opportunity to tie-dye,” senior Abe Fertig-Cohen said. “It’s fun to do stuff other than freeze and do work.”
The number one guarantee of using tie-dye is that it gets messy—I managed to get orange dye on my pants while coloring the shirts. On the bright side, it gave me an excuse to draw and paint more on my jeans.
Most of the shirts tie-dyed will be donated to a clothes drive—it felt satisfying to be able to contribute to a good cause. It seemed as though everyone who participated had a blast.