02 August 2009

Clay Dye Blends Color and Consciousness

While scouring the web to find a birthday gift for my honey pie, I came across a new dye process that inspired thoughts of my Pennsylvania mud sliding past. As anyone who wore a light colored shirt to these summer slip and slides knows- let that mud dry and it is not coming out. A similar realization may have inspired Earth Creations unique and environmentally friendly clay dye process, which uses washes of different types of clay to color the organic t-shirts it produces fair trade in rural Alabama.

Not only is this low-impact dye biodegradable and naturally derived, the process requires none of the massive amounts of salt that conventional dyeing processes demand, thereby preventing the downriver degradation to our watersheds that occurs when the floodgates open at commercial dye houses.

Most of the clay Earth Creations uses comes from the Southeastern US where good deposits in a variety of vibrant colors abound. The clay is finely ground and mixed with water before it is stirred with unbleached clothing in a large vat. After about an hour, the clothes are lifted out and dried before they are inspected. The dye-process allows for lasting color that slightly fades over time like a well worn pair of jeans.

As for the birthday man in my life, I'm leaning towards this Give Peace a Chance tee, which I think his guitar strumming, bird call humming self will dig. As for a birthday cake, I think mud pie might be going a bit too far...

No comments: