International Textile Group announced today that they will be ceasing operations at the Cone Mills White Oak Plant in Greensboro, North Carolina on December 31, 2017. The White Oak Plant had been in operation for over 110 years and will be the last selvedge denim mill in the United States.
In a press release from ITG:
“For more than 125 years Cone Denim has defined American denim and authenticity with the White Oak mill representing the essence of Cone’s heritage,” said Kenneth T. Kunberger, President & CEO of Cone Denim and International Textile Group. “We truly regret having to take this action to close the mill, and we deeply appreciate the loyalty and dedication of all current and former employees of the White Oak mill. Their talent, effort, innovation, dedication, and customer focus all combined to create a White Oak brand, heritage, and legacy that will forever be the heart of the Cone Denim business.”
The mill itself was founded in 1905 and has operated continuously ever since. Demand for shuttle-loomed fabric, woven on their vintage Draper X-3 looms had waned in recent years as customers sought cheaper fabric from overseas. Cone assures that all customer orders will be honored up until the closing.
The news comes just a year after their acquisition by private equity firm, Platinum Equity, in October of 2016.
Image by Farhad Samari.