Pinto Denim is being brought back with its characteristic bleached streaks

Pinto Denim is being brought back with its characteristic bleached streaks

As part of its year-long 125th anniversary celebrations Cone Denim is bringing back its Pinto Denim for a limited time.

First developed in 1969, and rediscovered in its archives, the story behind Pinto Denim is one of turning a crisis into an opportunity.

On June 15, 1969, Greensboro, North Carolina was hit by a deluge of rain, with more than six inches falling in a 24-hour period. Machinery was damaged, all shifts were cancelled at the White Oak mill and a warehouse and the central power plant were flooded.

As a result, millions of yards of denim stored in the warehouse were soaked with water, and high school students were hired to help wash and dry the fabric to keep it from mildewing.

To Cone officials, this seemed like a catastrophe. But a young denim merchandiser in Cone's New York marketing group suggested that the White Oak mill run the fabric through a solution to randomly remove the dye and give the denim a faded, mottled appearance.

An advertisement for the denim ran in the Daily News Record and over 50,000 designers, manufacturers and retailers rushed to place their orders. After the denim was made into garments, and Pinto Denim became a rousing success.

"The story of the Pinto Denim is such a fun piece of Cone Denim's history and reminiscent of what makes Cone such a denim visionary," says Kara Nicholas, vice president product design and marketing. "It speaks straight to the innovation, creativity, and perseverance that have been such cornerstones of the Cone legacy."

Pinto Denim is being brought back with all the bleached streaks and character, and is available in both selvage and wide styles and all produced in the company's iconic White Oak mill, which houses modern equipment and technology alongside vintage looms from mid-century denim making.

Cone Denim is part of International Textile Group (ITG) with manufacturing facilities in the US, China, and Mexico.