As long as humans have been making textiles, they have been using mud, clay, and dirt to dye their creations. There are places in the world where cloth is still dyed using these traditional techniques. When we developed our own dyeing process, we learned from these ancient methods but took the process a step further to ensure colorfastness, durability, and applicability to knitted fabrics.
We use clays from different sources, but most come from the Southeastern United States (Alabama, Georgia, and the Carolinas). Because we want to produce a uniform color from batch to batch, we look for sources that will yield consistent color.
Not only does clay dyeing result in beautiful colors, but the process itself is eco-friendly. Clay dyeing avoids the use of synthetic dyes, thus eliminating the negative environmental impact of chemically manufacturing it. The dye process we developed uses only natural and biodegradable materials to improve the clay’s natural dyeing abilities. We do not use any salt; salt is routinely used in many “normal” dye processes, and releasing it results in high salinity that is harmful to our waterways.
We love how the idea of clay dye entices people. We began our company with only two or three colors. Over time, people began asking for more colors, and they began sending us clay samples. We have received clay from locations as varied as a car salesperson’s yard and a potter in Alabama who still uses a horse-and-pulley system to extract clay for his pottery. We also have created custom projects using a customer’s own soil and by adding brewed coffee to our clay dyes for a coffee roaster.
We achieve many of our shades by mixing and blending different clays together. Of course, there is a finite number of pigments available in nature, so we are limited in the colors that we can produce. But we are always looking for new and interesting sources.
Read About Our Fabrics