With outsourcing becoming a much more common occurrence within the textile industry, it is becoming increasingly difficult to source local. Many American mills have shut down in recent years, significantly limiting the options.
One of the most difficult fabrics to find made in the USA is denim, as its design and manufacturing process is complex and an art form within itself. To make the sourcing process easier, we have put together a list of suggestions for those looking to purchase fabric for a denim line:
White Oak Mill for Cone Denim
Cone Mills is a denim supplier to many top clothing brands in the world and has a rich history. The company’s first mill began production in over 100 years ago, and is still based in its original site in North Carolina. This USA mill, White Oak, has a variety of high-end fabric choices, including selvage denim woven on vintage shuttle looms! Other collections include 100% organically grown cotton, Black Seed Denim, and S Gene, a comfortable stretch fabric.
Their online store is currently under construction, but appointments can be made at any of their showrooms in New York and California, as well as their North Carolina headquarters. Production time is typically 6-12 weeks, with a minimum of 3,000 yards. Yes, this is a high minimum. But keep in mind that most mills will do sample yardage and you can also explore the idea of group buying with fellow designers.
Based in West Texas, SAFEDenim is all about being eco-friendly, sustainable, and local. Formerly only available to large manufacturers, the company has scaled back to accommodate these values and the designers who share them. SAFEDenim’s fabrics are available wholesale for small to midsize manufacturing.
A low 30-yard minimum and quick 2-day shipping provides independent designers with easy access to necessary materials! Swatches are available in all washes and finishes so the designer can make an informed selection. Additionally, extreme precaution is taken so that the mill itself is as environmentally friendly as possible including reducing the amount of water and land needed for cotton crops.
Denim North America is a privately held mill located in Georgia. They provide a full range of denim services, the most unique being “Denim 101,” a virtual or on-site overview of the process from start to finish. One of the company’s main goals is to provide their customers with enough knowledge so that they can design and aid in production effectively.
More helpful features: garment Wet Processing on site, as well as recommendations provided to the designer for laundry formulas to bring his or her vision to life. DenimNA’s collections include “Heritage,” a vintage inspired line and “everFLEX,” a strong, flexible textile.
Though choosing a US denim manufacturer can be a tricky process, there are options available. Working with fabric suppliers that are base din the USA is not always easy but, when you find one that meets your needs, the entire manufacturing process is easier and more efficient.