When G. Weilacher said this, I am sure he never dreamed that in some time, the commonplace duct tape, used to seal anything and everything, would become a revolution in the world of fashion. Today, where crazy ideas rule the roost, dresses made of duct tape are the perfect solution to give you an edge, and make sure that you are the cynosure of all eyes. Strong enough to pull out a car from a ditch, and still easily enough ripped by hand, duct tape is a tape for all seasons with a strength, that is a result of its triple layer structure of plastic, cloth mesh, and adhesive.
These tapes first came into use during the Second World War, when they were used by the Allied Forces to seal different boxes, full of warfare, to protect them against water and other natural forces. Soon, their usage spread to factories and households, where they were employed for a host of activities, from patching things to sealing boxes for courier services and fixing leaky faucets (a lazy solution).
It was in 1995, when the world discovered that, the mundane everyday duct tape was the greatest invention since the wheel, when Tim Nyberg and Jim Berg, wrote The Duct Tape Book, which educated us about the brilliant, crazy, and unconventional uses of this tape. And since then, there has been no looking back. Everyone was hooked to this tape, including the world of clothes. The fashion crazy needed an idea, and there it was, sitting on their kitchen shelves, staring back at them.
Apparels and accessories made from duct tape have now become the new buzz word. It is durable and cheap. You can patch it up, and you won’t be hauled up by fashionistas. It takes little space while traveling, it is waterproof, and you can make your own dress out of it. No designer needed. So, how many dresses do you own that can boast of such unique characteristics?
A ‘Sticky’ Dress
The duct tape dress, while an adventurous choice to make, also tests your patience. Want to know how to make this dress? The one you are dreaming about. Well, here is how to make one.
- If you are wary of creating and designing your own silhouette (like me), you could use a previously owned dress of yours, as the base. Create a design for this base, and then start sticking. Literally! Just get a sewing form or a friend to model your dress for you, and start wrapping the duct tape in the pattern that you envisaged. Wrap it horizontally, and pay attention to the details. Make sure that your dress has well aligned seams (or stick ’em paths). To wear the dress, just cut it up at the back, till the waist, and then cover up the slit with more tape when you wear it. Remember to press the tape evenly and firmly.
- Alternately, you could use duct tape fabric. The sticky sides of two pieces of the tape are taken and joined at the center. Then two more pieces are used to cover the exposed part of the previous two pieces. This process is continued till one has the required length and breadth of fabric. It is then washed with water and lather, and dried. Use this fabric on an outline of your design made of real cloth, and go crazy with the pattern.
While at one time, the limited colors that the tape was available in, were enough to put you off the fashion, today there is a plethora of colors to choose from. For the safe dressers, there is the white or the brown, but then, if you are a safe dresser, this pattern would not be your cup of tea. So, for the adventurous, there are neons, electric shades, and day-glo to choose from.
A Dressy Affair
If you thought that people are giving this trend a miss on their special days, think again. Prom, the dream night of many high school students, has been taken over by this unique dressing style. And surprisingly, there have even been reports of people wearing wedding dresses made of this stylish fabric. Prom dresses made from duct tape are in vogue. In fact, there are nationwide competitions held by manufacturers of these tapes for the best prom dresses. Students all over the country vie for the scholarships that these competitions hand out as prizes. And for the socially conscious, as DeNeen L. Brown of The Washington Post put it, “Making a prom dress or a tuxedo out of duct tape is, like, so anti-corporate, anti-world hype, anti-commercialism.”
Duct tape dresses are glossy, and can be accesorized ingeniously with purses, shoes, belts, all made of…well, duct tape. However, these dresses, should also come with a statutory warning. They should be ideally worn with a layer of cotton. The tape does not allow your skin to breathe, as it is not absorbent. Hence, it is advisable to apply baby powder before wearing a duck tape dress. And also, check for any allergic reaction.
So go ahead, tape up and be that guaranteed winner of a dress. You never know when the shutterbugs may go clicking.