cone mill

Taylor Stitch release a run of non-selvedge cone mill denim 14.25 oz in both their slim & democratic fit. Denim enthusiast know what cone mill denim is all about but the most eye opening aspect of this release is the price point. At $75, made in California, this has to be one of the best jeans for the price. What do you think? 

yours truly, 

Snow Cones on a Sunday Morning

On a snowy night, Regina is missing Henry and Robin is there to comfort her.

For the anon who requested Robin and Regina cuddling under a blanket during the Missing Year. I meant for this to be fluffy–but I think it’s more sad than anything else. Hopefully it’ll do :)

“Just let her be,” David whispers as his hands falls to Snow’s shoulder.

“She’s been sitting there for hours.”

David sighs. “I don’t think there’s anything we can do.”

“We could sit with her,” Snow says as she turns her head to look back at her husband. “At least she wouldn’t be alone.”

“I’m not sure anyone could make her feel less alone.”

For a moment, Snow doesn’t respond. Instead, she stares into the darkened room, watching as Regina sits in a large bay window, starting out at the night sky. Snowflakes flutter and the wind howls, and all she’s wearing is a nightdress. Her hair is down in a long braid that falls over her shoulder and in the moonlight, he can see the tear tracks on her cheeks—and every now and then, another tear adds a streak. She does nothing to brush them away, and he’s not convinced she’s even aware of them.

Robin watches as David turns Snow’s shoulders, and with a regretful little smile, Snow nods as follows him back to bed. From the shadows, he watches them go, and then turns his attention back to Regina—back to the Evil Queen—and he wonders how many night’s she’s spent this way, sad and alone, with no one to comfort her. It always amazes him when he catches her in these moments—catches her unguarded and authentic without the Evil Queen’s façade— and how drawn he is to her. She’s unlike anyone he’s met before and the legacy behind her is troubling at best—yet there’s something so lovable about her, and he finds himself wanting to be the one who helps her learn to live through the grief and find comfort in her memories.

He takes a step forward and then another, grabbing a blanket that hangs over the back of a chair as he makes his way to her. For a moment, he just stands at her side, waiting to be noticed; but her head never turns in his direction.

“M’lady?” He calls gently, taking another step toward her. “M’lady, it’s… awfully late.”

“Yes,” she says after awhile, not bothering to look back at him. “I know.”

“It’s cold…”

“Yes,” she says again. “Cold enough to snow.”

His eyes slowly move from Regina to the window and he watches as the snow collects on the on the windowsill. “Yes,” he murmurs, turning his attention back to her as he unfolds the blanket and drapes it over her—and when he does, his fingers brush against her shoulder and she’s cold to the touch. “You’re freezing,” he says, his voice rising in alarm—and without thinking his sits down beside her and wraps his arms around her. From the reflection in the window, he can see her surprise and he expects her to pull away. But she doesn’t—she makes no effort to move.

“This is the first snow fall,” she tells him in a distant voice. “I wonder if it’s snowing in New York.”

Turning his head, he looks at her directly and his heart aches for her. Though he’s not entirely sure where this ‘New York’ is, he’s pieced together that is where her son is—the son she so desperately loves and the son who doesn’t even remember that she exists.

“Does Henry like the snow?” He asks, intentionally using the present tense—and the slight grin that tugs up at one of the corners of her mouth show her appreciation for not putting her boy into the unreachable past.

“Yes,” she answers in a voice that is barely audible. “He loves the snow.”

Absently his hands rub over her arms as he takes a breath, unsure of whether or not this is something she wants to talk about, but venturing that one way or the other, she’ll let him know. “What is it that he likes most about the snow?”

Through the window he watches as a grin pulls onto her lips. “Everything,” she murmurs, momentarily losing herself in a memory. “We got a lot of snow in the winters where we lived, and every year, usually at the beginning of December, it would start to stick to the ground and actually accumulate.” She smiles wistfully. “This one time, when he was about six years old, he woke me up in the middle of the night because it was snowing and it was excited about it, and wanted me to see it.”

“How sweet…”

“It was,” she agrees with short nod. “We went over to the window and he sat on my lap, and we watched the snow fall.” Turning her head, she looks over at him. “It was a night just like this one and the yard was covered in this fluffy, thick white glistening blanket and…” She looks over at him. “He told me it looked magical.”

“I’m sure it was.”

“And then, he asked if we could makes snow cones,” she says, chuckling softly. And though he isn’t sure what exactly a ‘snow cone’ is, he nonetheless smiles because the memory makes her smile. “I’m not sure why agreed—it was well after midnight—but it wasn’t a school night, so I did and the next thing I knew, we were putting on boots and collecting snow in cups.” She sighs and he watches as a few tears stray from her eyes and slowly roll down her cheeks, and just as she’d done before, she makes no effort to brush them away. “And then, we came inside and I poured some strawberry syrup over the cups of snow—and I know they weren’t really snow cones, they did the trick.”

“I’d have never known the difference.”

“No, you wouldn’t have,” she says with a sigh, once more taking a moment to lose herself in the memory. “And then we sat in the window, eating our snow cones and watching our footsteps disappear.”

“That sounds… like a wonderful night.”

“It was,” she nods, her voice hitching at the back of her throat. “He would have loved this.”

“I’m sure he would have,” Robin agrees—and he sincerely wishes that it is indeed snowing in New York. “Tell me more,” he says as he takes a breath. “I’d love to hear more about how much your boy loved the snow.”

Regina turns, shifting her whole body toward him and away from the window, and she looks at him in a way that’s indescribable—and then a warm smile pulls onto her lips. Glancing down at the blanket that he placed around her shoulders, she pulls it away from herself, and then, looking back at him, she fans it out so that it covers both of them. “You looked cold,” she murmurs, almost shyly as she looks back at him.

“Thank you,” he says, his breath catching in his lungs as she settles back against him. His eyes close and beneath the blanket, his arm slides around her as she draws it up around them—and then she begins another story.

New Levi’s ® Vintage Clothing collection for SS 17 just arrived us. Let us start with the new inzane Levi's® Vintage Clothing 1976 501 Jeans Rigid 12oz. The 1976 501 Jeans is made from 12oz Raw Cone Mills Selvedge denim. The classical jeans with subtle tapered legs and a mid rise.

The LVC Miners from the 2013 collection. The original piece was found in an abandoned mine and is widely believed to be the first non-pant product from Levi Strauss. Well crafted with careful attention to detail such as the hand stitched pocket arcuate and original style rivets.  Levis constructed this reproduction piece from Cone Mills 2x1 9oz selvedge denim in a distinctive wash.


Levi’s Vintage Clothing “The Golden Handshake”

Named after the century-old agreement established by Levi’s and Cone Mills back in 1915, giving the factory exclusive rights to produce the iconic 501s, the upcoming collection is presented through a series of outstanding “vintage” pictures. The original 501 style has been recreated for the collection, along with some other staple pieces from that time. 

Bio-based dyes supplier Stony Creek Colours work with Cone Mills to launch natural Indigo Selvedge Denim.
The new denim collection is to be produced at it’s historic White Oak Mill in Greensboro, North Carolina and launched as part of the company’s celebration initiatives of White Oak’s 110th anniversary. Its been over 100 years since natural indigo has been used in large scale production in the United States. Cone have partnered with Stony Creek Colours to supply their natural indigo dye for this special edition of selvedge denim fabrics woven on American Draper X-3 fly shuttle looms. The first selvage styles will be available for sampling in early August 2015.

Levis’s FW15 Collection “The Golden Handshake,” named after the agreement made at Levi’s and Cone Mills in 1915. Exclusive rights were given to Levi’s to produce the shrink-to-fit denim for the classic 501. Today Cone Mills are still exclusive manufacturers of this denim, made in it’s White Oak, Greensboro factory as it was 100 years ago. Collections include reproductions from the brands 1915 catalogue. Produced in limited supply these will certainly become collectors items.

History of Cone Mills, Proximity village and White Oak. 

Cotton and the south

During the American Industrial revolution the southern states started became famous for their cotton production and by the 1860 two thirds of the global cotton production came from that part of the USA.  After the civil war people dreamed of a ‘New South’ considering the vast possibilities of production in North Carolina.  At that time two young salesmen, named Moses and Caesar Cone, ran their fathers grocery business.  Since money was scarce in those days, the brothers would sometimes get paid in cloth by the store and mill owners which they could sell to other markets.  This is how the Cone brothers got involved in the textile business and how they realised something had to change in their region. At that time over fifty mills were situated in the area and in 1891 the Cone brothers decide these textile plants needed somebody to represent them all as banker and distributor to market the products they were manufacturing to the rest of the world.  This was to be the beginning of their legacy to the North American clothing industry.

Cone Mills

In 1893 Moses and Caesar Cone believed it was time to change their business model due to the lack of quality fabrics.  Secondly, they faced trouble renewing the contracts with the various mills as they argued that if their cloths were really as good as they claimed, then they could earn more profit if they started selling the fabrics again themselves.  This is why the brothers decided they would build two textile mills of their own.  One would make denim fabrics and the other would stick to flannels.  However, due to the 'Panic’ in 1893 and again in 1896 they were forced to focus on denim development in conjunction with the production business Cone added a new chapter to the history in the south when they opened a facility to finish cloth.  This allowed the producers in the south to diversify and improve their semi-raw products.

At the end of the nineteenth century denim was a fabric that was only produced in the North-East of the United States.  Cone Mills foresaw that the industrialisation would lead to an exponential growth and demand for denim.  For this reason the company decided to try and evoke the southern mills to focus their business on denim.  However, after only one of the mills dared to take the chance, they decided it was time to take steps on their own.  In 1895 the company gave birth to the Proximity Cotton Mills where they began weaving denim fabric a year later with 7500 spindles and 240 looms.  To keep that many looms supplied with yarn the spinning machines were running night and day.  During its 82 years of existence Proximity produced nothing but denim.  By 1951 the plant had 1500 employees 61.632 spindles and 2085 looms producing 49.000.000 yards of denim per year.  In 1978 the company decided to close the Proximity business and consolidate its denim operations in the White Oak Cliffside plants.

White Oak

During the early 1900’s the demand for the denim grew further.  It made the Cone brothers decide to build yet another plant close to proximity.  A huge White Oak tree of nearly 200 years old that measured four feet and two inches across the trunk became the symbol of this new project.  History tells us that the oak was used as a meeting place for people who came to Greensboro from the surrounding areas.  The tree would protect from the sun and rain underneath its spreading branches.  This is where the brothers decided to build the largest denim factory ever.  The White Oak Plant began to exclusively produce denim in 1905, and continues to do so to this day.  The White Oak tree remained a symbol of its excellence long after it came down during a storm in the summer of 1930.

After World War I the focus in the denim production went from military materials to peacetime products.  The entire business subsequently went through an adjustment.  Cone added new fabrics to the portfolio such as chambrays, coverts, ticking and upholstery cloth to the existing list of products.  Although Cone would develop many great new clothes to the business it was another denim breakthrough that would turn the jeans business upside down.  Before 1936 denims dirty and dusty looking qualities were considered to be inherent to the fabric.  Cones’s visionaries had a different opinion.  In 1936 they produced Cones Deeptone Denim that was more pleasing in terms of colour, smoother in finish and much more attractive to post-war consumers.  The new fabric modernised marketing as well.  Levi Strauss was one of the first manufactures who established ideas about brand identity and loyalty.  Cone’s close relationship with Levi’s started in 1915 and continues to the present day.  Cone Produced the legendary XX fabric for Levi’s that became the brands most important icon next to the 501 jean.

World War II

During WWII the Cone Mills were quickly converted so they could produce fabrics for the war effort.  Cone was making cloths they had never produced before for tents, camouflage clothing and other much needed fabrics.  According to the estimates seventy percent of the southern clothing business was reserved for WWII support.  Soon after the war the entire business changed again.  During the 50’s the invention of television began to influence the youngsters who started to wear jeans as a fashion statement, rather than as functional workwear.  With the emergence of Rock n Roll an entire nations social structure changed and Cone increased their business in dying, printing and finishing fabrics to match the demand.

Post war America and consumer culture

In 1956, for the first time, demand for denim declined.  The company decided to further develop their production of corduroy, twills and poplins.  The interest in the contemporary side of denim would further grow the decades that followed.  Inventions like stretch-denim would take the current denim interpretations further and further away from the fabric that it all started with.  Technological advancements sped up this process even more.  The mills were suddenly able to blend fabrics and continued to develop, in order to serve the growing casual and sportswear markets.

The Cone Mills 20th Century is best described as one of excellence.  This family business with the inspirational Cone brothers as major innovators, have always been ahead of the time.  When no one was thinking about jeans beside the Northern States, Cone was doing it better than anyone.  Although nobody thought of life after raw workwear, Cone Mills developed it.  When they concluded that the enormous denim demand would basically mean that they had to build a 24hr business and they needed motivated people to run it, Cone created an entire village with a private infrastructure and even its own baseball team. They would basically do anything for quality and diligence.

Words by Menno Van Meurs

Images from Found Collection