Cone Mills Celebrates 110 Years of Making Denim, Proves Why They're American OGs

The definition of Americana—for the past 110 years.

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Complex Original

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If you're wearing jeans from Baldwin, Levi's Made & Crafted, Raleigh Denim, or any other high-quality jean company, you're likely wearing fabric that came from this North Carolina institution. A symbol of Americana for over a century, Cone Mills dropped a video to honor its 110th anniversary—told by the people that work at the legendary White Oak factory.

What's immediately apparent from watching the video is that, like the auto manufacturing lines in Detroit, several of the mill's employees have been hand-making its legendary denim for over 40 years. For context, that was back in the days when a pair of denim jeans was, as Wayne Turner, an employee with Cone Mills for 46 years, describes, "so thick, they'd just about stand up by themselves."

While the Mill isn't as big as it once was, it still operates 40 vintage shuttle looms to create its authentic and coveted product. Long story short, its mills like Cone Mills that really made denim into what we know and love today. But more importantly, as the video closes, it's a reminder that the century-plus success of the factory is about the people who craft the denim. Without them, the company would not be as important, influential, or beloved as it is after all these years.

See the full video above.

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