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White Oak Legacy Foundation Weaves Together American Denim’s Past and Future

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America has a strong heritage and history in denim. Ever since the fabric became a workwear staple in the 1800s, denim has gone through an evolution to become ubiquitous in consumers’ closets.

Cone Denim began in 1891, and it opened its White Oak mill in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1905. Just a decade later, Cone had become the world’s largest denim mill and had entered into a supplier partnership with Levi Strauss & Co.

After more than a century in operation, White Oak closed its doors in 2017. This marked the end of an era, since at the time it was the last remaining denim mill within the U.S.

The White Oak Legacy Foundation (WOLF) is bringing back U.S.-made selvedge denim and preserving the local history of denim innovation. As part of its mission, it is returning vintage X3 Draper selvedge denim looms to use at the White Oak plant, making jeans once again in Greensboro.

Read more on Carved in Blue.


This article is one of a series on Rivet from Lenzing’s Carved in Blue denim blog. From conversations with the experts behind the mills that make some of the world’s most-wanted denim to the global brands bringing novel denim made with TENCEL™ Lyocell and Modal to the market, Carved in Blue shares the stories of those whose roots run deep with denim. Visit www.carvedinblue.tencel.com.