Loom bands were all the rage even before the Duchess of Cambridge was spotted wearing a rainbow bracelet while on the royal tour. Since then, however, the public has taken the craze to a whole new level as one woman’s rainbow loom dress is now being sold on eBay for bids of over $300,000.
Created by Welsh woman Helen Wright, who was inspired by her 12-year-old daughter, Sian, the single mom enlisted her friend Kathryn Burnand to help. They constructed the frock out of 20,000 colourful, rubber bands.
“My friend Kathryn physically made it because she’s out of work and gets bored,” Wright told Wales Online. “It took her about 45 hours to make but that was over weeks and weeks. She made it by running one long strip of loom bands then got one of Sian's dresses and laid them both on the floor and got the pattern from there.”
The dress, which is modeled by Sian and fits girls between size four and six, was placed on eBay with the starting price of £50, or about $90 CDN. The price was based on the amount Wright and Burnand spent on the loom bands to make it.
While the public showed little interest at first, things really turned around once people discovered the creation online. On the third day after it had been posted, 126 bids were placed within the span of four hours, shooting the price to £153,921, or over $280,000!
“What a difference that money would make to me and Helen,” Burnand told the Daily Mail. “I've made things like this before for friends and for people's birthdays, and I've done dress-making in the past. I guess this is quite unique though.”
Loom bands first became popular in 2011 when Michigan engineer Cheong Choon Ng created the Rainbow Loom, the tool used to make the bands into jewelry.
Since then, loom sales have boomed and in 2013 alone, sold 3.5 million units. And thanks to their appearance on Kate Middleton’s wrist during the royal tour to New Zealand and Australia, sales have spiked more than 300 per cent!
But despite the frenzy, Wright admits the dress is more a novelty than a fashion piece. “My daughter's a size twelve and it took two of us to get it on her. It's not comfortable and it's very heavy,” she explained. “It was made as a novelty and we never intended it to be worn.”
Fashion statement or not, it appears the public’s love for these colourful rubber loops won’t be dying down anytime soon.
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