The question is what makes Mint Kondition’s tie dye so special compared to other artist’s tie dye? Well, there are a couple different techniques which go into making sure my tie dye is as bright as it is. It is a tedious, messy process to achieve quality tie dye; however, it is completely worth while to keep my product to the highest of standards.
The primary stage in my process is the dyes: Fiber Reactive or Procion dyes. These dyes are concentrated to the fullest extent, which can become quite costly, yet it remains a vital necessity in yielding the most vibrant product possible. Not one quarter of a teaspoon of dye can be left out of the dye recipe, as this can lead to mediocre results. This is an essential part of what dichotomizes me from your neighborhood tie dye artist.
The next important factor is prepping the shirt for the dye. In this step, I make sure each shirt (or item of fabric) is washed in hot water before it is tied up. This ensures there are no oils or other materials which could disrupt dye from reacting with the fabric. Each item is then ironed and tied up. It is not unusual for this step to range from minutes to hours depending on the dye. This is another indispensable component of what deliniates my work from the rest: I treat my artwork with the necessary time and attention to achieve the greatest possible outcome. From there, they are soaked with soda ash solution, and later on dyed.
Another important element of my work involves the use of high quality clothing made for tie dye. I have made the mistake of ordering Gildan shirts from a different distributor once before because I wanted to save money. This is a mistake I will not make again; the shirts were lower quality than advertised, made from a thinner cotton which was nearly see through. Just as Picasso would be less likely to conceive a masterpiece on a paper napkin, my work also suffers when I am without the appropriate canvas. Through years of trial and error, I realized money is ultimately far too trivial a matter to dwell on on my journey to achieving the vibrant results I know and want. In other words, my shirts aren’t cheap for a reason.
The fourth facet of making Mint Kondition tie dye so unique is how I make each shirt. My ambition has always been to make something which corresponds to any taste. Tie dye has become a fashion style that has far surpassed the realm of simply being for ‘hippies.’ Instead of making the usual rainbow tie dye, I try to cater to people who would otherwise not have much interest in tie dye. For the past 5 years, I have heard the same thing from customers: “I never really liked or knew tie dye could be like this.” It’s something which really resonates with me, and drives me to get more people around the world addicted to my artwork (which I hope will come with increased exposure).
An important technique which goes into making Mint Kondition tie dye one of a kind artwork is by how I make a very limited amount of item at once. Each piece is done one at a time or else in tiny batches. This ensures each piece is unique and doesn’t fall victim to routine. I can’t say it never happens, but remaining conscious of this process prevents duplication which I often notice in other, more generic tie dye. I try to make everything with a slight twist (even if it’s the same design) so it stands out a little from the rest and remains authentic. My goal is make sure no one is walking around looking the same as someone else like mass produced print art clothing and generic tie dye do very well. It can be very annoying when you’re looking for your friend at a concert or festival and see 3 other people with the same shirt on. I take comfort in knowing my artwork is a remedy for monotony.
Finally, what makes my tie dye special is the color NEVER FADES! Just like it says in the description, each item is washed 3 times (in special chemicals) to ensure the vibrancy is permanently burnt into the fabric. I still have shirts I made in 2012 that are still as bright as the day I pulled them apart. Recently, I even ran into someone with a tie dye on that looked like mine. Little did I know it was actually one of mine that I sold to him a few years back; still as bright as the day I sold it to him.
Tie dye is a dying art, it’s rare that I ever run into someone who understands the process as well as I do. With my avid attendance of various music events, I often hope to discover other devoted tie dye artists, but I usually only find are wire wrappers and painters (which I don’t despise or look down upon!) It’s rare when I do come across a tie dye artist who is motivated by more than money (and other factors I will not mention).
These are all the main factors which go into making my tie dye more unique than any other. All 6 of these points are what dictate my prices for each of my products. You can go to other quality artists like JamminOn, Lusid Dreaming or Wildflower Dyes and see that the price is not much different ( in addition to different styles). As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for, and with Mint Kondition tie dye you get a quality product that lasts when you pay $25 or more. So instead of dwelling on the price of some of my shirts, try to remain mindful of the process which each item undergoes. Hopefully, I have left you with a bit of appreciation and insight to my dedication and indelible passion for tie dye.
- Matt Kurr