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Cone Denim Adds Selvage Denim Capacity

Greensboro, N.C.-based Cone Denim, a division of International Textile Group (ITG), has announced it will expand production capacity by 25 percent at its White Oak mill to answer increasing demand for Made in USA selvage denim. The company will install a number of restored American Draper X3 shuttle looms at the plant, with installation expected to be complete by the end of August 2013.

According to the company, White Oak is the only U.S. mill that is producing narrow selvage denim fabric on vintage fly-shuttle looms. Some years ago, Cone had retired its own X3 looms, which date from the 1940s, and later restored them and brought them back on-line in the late 1990s. The additional looms were located recently in South Carolina, and they have been restored by Cone technicians and will be operated by trained workers at White Oak, which is the oldest operating denim mill in the United States, Cone reports.

"In some ways finding the looms may have been the easiest part," said Kara Nicholas, vice president, product development and marketing, Cone Mills. "The restoration of the looms has been tedious and would have been impossible without the expertise of our technicians, many who worked on the original X3 looms."

She added: "Vintage weaving is more art than science. Each loom that is installed gives us an opportunity to continue to master the intricacies of shuttle weaving and transfer that know-how to the next generation."

"We recognize the unique capabilities of White Oak and the growing demand for Made in America denim fabrics and garments," said Ken Kunberger, president and COO, Cone Denim and ITG. "It is exciting to strategically invest in our U.S. manufacturing base and to further the White Oak legacy. Our customers and the consumer's passion for authentic American selvage denim coupled with the history and heritage of White Oak continues to grow."

July 30, 2013