What is Ara the Rat?
Ara the Rat is an Armenian themed t-shirt brand. Whilst Armenian themed t-shirts are hardly new - we like to think our designs offer something a little more than the usual tricolour flag with "Hye 4 Life" written above it.
All of our designs are original illustrations, inspired by the people and places significant to Armenian cultural heritage. We offer style, history and light hearted humour that you and your non-Armenian friends can appreciate.
What does Ara the Rat mean?
Ara the Rat is a playful take on Mount "Ararat," the snowcapped mountain that has in many ways become the defining symbol of Armenian culture and identity. Every Armenian household has had a painting of Mount Ararat hanging on the wall at some point.
Ara is also a common Armenian boy's name, stemming from the popular 9th century BC Armenian hero Ara Geghetsik or Ara the Beautiful, who was known to be so handsome that the Assyrian queen Semiramis marched her armies towards Armenia to capture him.
|A familiar site in many Armenian households|
|Ara the Beautiful.|
Who designs the Ara the Rat t-shirts?
Everything seen on Ara the Rat is designed by Keegam, a British-Armenian graphic designer currently roaming around London, Los Angeles and Armenia.
Our designs are screen printed using the finest, environmentally friendliest inks. Silk screen printing is a method of printing that has been around since 960 AD, but largely popularised by Andy Warhol in the 1960s.
It is a process that uses special inks forced through fine mesh screens to apply a stencil onto a garment. Each colour is applied separately to the garments, and separate screens need to be created for each colour.
Screen printing is the traditional and most reliable method of transferring images onto clothing. Our t-shirts are "retail-ready" - meaning not only are they professionally printed to the highest standards, but are also relabelled with customised Ara the Rat neck tags.
|Printed neck tags|
|An example of a screen printer at work|
Some of your shirts have cracks all over the design and it looks very old. Are these defect shirts?
No, they most definitely aren't. Ara the Rat designs are inspired by soviet era graphics and iconic and retro imagery from yesteryear. A number of our t-shirt designs have a worn, faded and distressed appearance. This is an intentional occurrence and adds to the vintage vibe of the design.
|Distressed appearances are part of the original design and nothing to do with |
the printing method or ink used.
Will your t-shirts shrink?
Our t-shirts are pre-shrunk. They will not drastically change shape, but any garment that has cotton in its ingredients list is prone to some degree of shrinkage if not taken care of properly. We recommend you wash your t-shirts at the lowest possible temperatures and then air dry. Tumble dryers are a t-shirt's number one enemy, so keep them well apart.
Will you be having any lady-fit shirts? What about kids sizes?
We would love to be able to offer lady-fit shirts and kids sizes, but due to the costly and complexed nature of screen printing it would mean that separate, smaller stencils would have to be constructed to print smaller sized designs onto smaller shirts. That is not a financially viable option at this moment in time.
The only alternative would be to use a printing method known as "heat-press" which is used to print one-off shirts. However the quality of this printing method is questionable and as mentioned above - Ara the Rat does not like skimping on quality.
I'm an "odar" (non Armenian) Is it OK for me to wear these shirts?
Nothing gives us greater pleasure than non Armenians wearing Ara the Rat t-shirts. We'd like to think our designs are cool regardless of whether you speak Armenian, understand Armenian idiosyncrasies or even know where hell or what Armenia is.
|Mr. Otake of Japan was eventually able to place an order|
for a Mount Ararat and Lake Sevan t-shirt.
Can I meet up and buy a shirt in person?
Ara the Rat is an online-only business, but on some occasions we are able to meet customers wishing to purchase things in person as long as you're in the Los Angeles tri-city area (Burbank, Glendale, Pasadena). Please contact email@example.com for more info.
Do you have a size guide?
Yes! Click here for a Size Guide
I really like your shirts and I'd like to place an order. The only problem is that I've never ordered anything online before and I'm worried about using my credit card. Is it safe?
We can appreciate the fact that If you're not accustomed to online shopping, it can be quite a daunting experience. All Ara the Rat orders are processed by Paypal. PayPal is the most popular online payment service in use today and used daily by millions of people on Ebay. Your credit card details are processed by Paypal and are never sent to or seen by Ara the Rat.
So I need a Paypal account to order?
No, you are not required to have a PayPal account to purchase from this store. You just need a Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover card. But of course, if you already have a PayPal account you may use it. However please make sure that the delivery address on file is correct.
Where do you ship from?
Ara the Rat is currently based in Los Angeles, California.
Do you ship internationally?
Yes! Anywhere in the world. To date we have had orders from the following countries: Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela, Brazil, Canada, UK, Ireland, Greece, France, Japan, Australia, Armenia, Russia....and a couple more that we can't remember.
How long does delivery take?
All t-shirts are sent via USPS Priority Mail. After dispatch, this usually takes around 2-3 days for delivery everywhere the US. However for orders in California, delivery time is even quicker! Usually next day.
For international orders we use USPS Priority Mail International. Delivery time is 6 to 10 business days.
Do you have a return/exchange policy?
Yes. Unworn items can be returned or refunded, but please notify us within 10 days of receipt of your order. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can give you the return mailing information.
Please use the CONTACT tab at the top of this website and we will get back to you as soon as possible!