Tie-Dye – an Old Tradition for Todays Fashion

Zhang Zhijun is a tie-dye master. He practices a traditional craft for modern fashion.

Tie-dye is to TIE small portions of cloth with a tread in a regulated manner which will make a pattern later. To DYE, after dyeing the fabric, the threads are removed and as if by magic, a beautiful pattern emerges.
The dyeing process

Who’s is Zhang Zhijun?

Zhang Zhijun is a fashion designer in Chongqing, China and the founder of Yi Zero Source Culture Brand. After graduation in 2015, he became committed to integrating traditional elements into contemporary design and thereby continuing the tradition of tie-dyeing which originated in the Yellow River Basin in China. It was called Zha-Wei, Jia-Wei and Da-Qi-Wei, which has a history going back 1500 years in China. Today, there is a global resurgence of the arts and craft movements and Zhang is forerunner and part of this movement.

What inspired him to start his own business?

He grew up in the countryside of Dali in Yunnan province where tie-dying was part of the cultural life. However, he never paid much attention to it and left to study and pursue his career. But in the summer of 2013, a trip was organised to Dali, and he found himself unexpectedly returning and rediscovering not only the delicious food he once knew as a child but also street corners where he played, the lake and the beautiful flowers. There was another thing that he remembered, which was that everyone used to have their own dye vats to create the beautiful art of tie-dye. He met a man who he once knew called Zhou Changchun who told him that the art of tie-dyeing had vanished over the years and now, there was nothing left of it. This was a turning point for Zhang Zhijun. Studied the dyeing techniques of his town and in 2015, and started his own tie-dye studio, creating a small range of handmade tie-dyed clothes

The drying process

What is the dyeing technique?

Tie-dye is divided into two steps: Tikehau, the original name of a knotted knot. The fabric is creased, folded, rolled-up, squeezed etc., and knots are sewn with a needle until it resembles a string of small knots, which prevents the knots from dyeing, so that the fabric remains the original colour.

How sustainably is tie-dyeing?

The clothes that Zhang Zhijun creates are of high quality, and the raw materials follow the strict traditional requirements. He uses pure natural plants like hemp, cotton, mulberry silk, cotton, wool, herbs, and vegetables and so on. The dye is extracted from the pigments of the roots, stems, leaves, flowers and fruits that are used in Traditional Chinese medicines like, gallnut, chrysanthemum, gardenias, rubia, perilla, and turmeric, etc. He then extracts the colours by boiling them in water, dipping the cloth into the water and letting it seep.

Tie dye scarves for sale

How can you order Zhang Zhijun tie-dye fashion?

It is best to contact him in English on WeChat and he will translate into Chinese.

What sort of clothing does Zhang Zhijun produce?

He produces a limited range of shirts and contemporary variations of traditional Chinese classic dresses and jackets.

Handmade traditional clothes with a modern message

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