CONE MILLS R.I.P 1905 - 2017
On Oct 18th Cone Mills announced that after 112 years in business they would be officially ceasing all production and operations and permanently close the White Oak plant in North Carolina as of Dec 31st 2017. Cone is the oldest operating denim mill in the world and is the last to weave selvedge denim in the US.
Owning a pair of Cone Mills selvedge denim woven at the White Oak plant will not only be a badge of honor but a necessary addition to any serious or aspiring denim heads collection. Do not miss this opportunity to add this quality to your rotation while supplies last.
WHAT IS LOOMSTATE DENIM?
Loomstate denim, for the uninitiated, is essentially denim in its purest form - straight from the loom without any additional post weave processing .
All denim woven before 1930 was loomstate denim. The two major processes omitted in loomstate denim are shrinkage control (sanforization) and anti-skewing. Sanforization (pre shrinking after weaving) was only invented in 1930 and by the 1950's had been adopted by most denim manufacturers with Levis® holding out until the 1960's.
Another process that's forgone on this quality is called skewing which is what prevents the denim from twisting in the legs. This was a common issue and became known as 'leg twist'. Right hand twill denim twisted to the left and LHT denim to the right. Wrangler® solved this by inventing broken twill denim (z-weave) but Levis® did not want to give up their 3x1 weave and invented the process known as 'skewing' in 1976. Leg twist can still be found on selvage denim jeans but not the extreme twist that is common with loomstate and is more a factor of sewing than skewing.
Personally, we at Brave Star are fans of leg twist as it's a defining feature of true loomstate denim and is what elevates selvage denim to it's original vintage aesthetic. This is not a pair of raws for the casual denim head. There needs to be a love for the process of breaking in a pair of selvage and an appreciation for the historical inconsistencies such as leg twist that will make these uniquely yours. If you want to experience selvage denim as it was woven and worn by the original denim heads of the early 1900's then this is it.
The coarseness and tightness of the weave can immediately be felt which is a direct result of the loomstate nature of the yarn. Uneven yarns have been used in the warp and weft which produces a cross hatch character on the face of the weave. The indigo is a dark shade with a red cast that will darken up even more after the first soak. To finish off the special nature of this denim is the green selvage iD. We have never seen a green iD from Cone and can only speculate that it was developed for one of the (Big Three) iconic American denim brands that Cone mills worked with throughout their 100+ years of operation. We'll let you do the research to figure out which one historically used a green selvage iD.
These jeans will shrink up to one full size and 2 inches in the inseam. Size up if you plan to wash or soak before wear although we highly recommend that you wear these before the first soak to stretch them out to their maximum potential which will help to minimize shrinkage. With solid daily wear your jeans should stretch up to a size in the waist and half a size thru the low hip and thighs. We also recommend a cold water rinse and hang dry once ready for the first wash. It will take approx three soaks to eliminate all the remaining shrinkage.
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- Red Orange top stitching with Natural leather patch and antique brass hardware.
- Sewn & chain stitched in all the right places on vintage Union Special, Reece & Singer machines.
- A & E core spun poly thread for maximum strength & durability.
- Tonal embroidered star insignia on the right back pocket represents ‘Made in America’ status.
- Cone Mills woven label sewn into waistband.
- Button fly with double prong, donut style buttons. Old style pocket rivet burrs.
- All hardware is made in Kentucky.
- Leather back patches are cut & stamped in Los Angeles & waistband label is woven locally in Los Angeles.
- Every aspect of the production is US made in Downtown Los Angeles.