This is the question we are asked the most, and with good reason. Such a unique product demands a detailed answer. Our plant was originally in Granbury, Texas, but we moved to Fort Worth in the fall of 2003. Here, we store mountains of red-brown clay from a variety of locations, each one having been hauled by a 12 yard dump truck. Our Oklahoma clay is hauled from Duncan, Oklahoma. Our Louisiana clay is brought in from Shreveport, Louisiana. The Arkansas clay is from Magnolia, Arkansas. Our New Mexico clay comes from Roswell, New Mexico, and we get our Texas clay from...well, just down the road here in Granbury. So when we say that these shirts are "Hand Dyed In Real Dirt" from these various states, we really mean it!
Each of the clays is mixed with water to form a thick red-brown mud. When the mud is just right, we add 100% cotton Hanes or Fruit of the Loom 6.1 ounce white T-shirts to the mixture, and the transformation begins. Unless the mud is worked into the fabric, the shirts merely stain. Our dyers coax the mud into the fabric of each shirt by hand. It takes a lot of time and effort to achieve the rich red-brown color our dirt shirts have become known for.
But wait, there’s more! Our shirts owe much of their appeal to the great variety of fun, interesting designs that adorn the front of each shirt. All of our designs are produced at our warehouse by talented artists. The designs are then silk screened onto finished dirt shirts using high quality plastic-based inks, and heat cured in large industrial dryers. This insures that the inks won’t ever flake or fade. The shirts are then tagged, folded and stored in our stockroom to await shipment.
Another question often asked is "What happens when you wash it?". We dye our shirts in red clay, using no artificial mordants or chemical fixatives. The iron oxide found naturally in clay is the dying agent. As a result, the color will bleed initially and fade slightly, which is why we suggest pre-washing separately in cold water before wearing. However, during our unique dying process, the mud is actually worked into the fabric, so the shirts never lose their color completely. Over time, dirt shirts tend to fade to a pleasant buckskin color.
Now that you know what the heck a dirt shirt is, and how the heck a dirt shirt is produced, we hope like heck that you’ll go to our product page and find a dirt shirt for yourself or a friend and enjoy the heck out of it!