From August 19th – 21st, we had the opportunity to join in on the inaugural Liberty Fairs Las Vegas trade show. We’ll be re-capping our coverage shortly, but among the 300+ brands showcasing their goods, one of the most remarkable and underrated booths on the entire floor was the one manned by the good folks from Cone Mills.
The 122-year old Greensboro, N.C. denim manufacturer made their presence felt by not only showcasing a range of their current samples and goods, but by also bringing along several unbelievable artifacts from their archives. To top it off, visitors were given a full rundown by Kara and Josephine (pictured above), who work in product development and design roles at the company.
Two such pieces that we were able to see up close – and actually touch (with special white gloves, of course) – were a pair of patched-up denim overalls from 1941 and an utterly shredded workers jacket from 1930.
The story behind these items is around 2009, they were stumbled upon by a man named James Harlon, who was originally looking for ginseng root in a rural area near Greensboro, N.C. Along his hunt he came across a shack that beared a total of 40 individual vintage denim garments which had fallen through the dilapidated ceiling from the attic.
Each piece was from the early – near mid 1900’s, and rather than giving or auctioning away the haul, he chose to donate the entire find to Cone Mills.
Cone Mills was of course elated with the donation, especially when upon closer inspection, they realized the fabric utilized was “Cone Deeptone Denim“. An old fabric introduced in 1936 with a deep and rich indigo shade never seen before, Deeptone Denim was apparently so desirable that it was cleverly, and successfully, marketed to farmers and workers to “improve your overall appearance”.
Given the cultural and historic significance of the garments, Cone has recently decided to turn the collection into the “Found Collection“. We’ll jump more into this very soon, but we thought you’d enjoy the below photos for now.