Cone Denim said today that it inked a deal to bring the American Draper X3 selvage looms “from the iconic White Oak plant back into production.”
“The agreement with local investor Will Dellinger provides for the sale of the X3 looms to Dellinger, who plans to start them up for the purpose of producing denim fabric in North Carolina,” the company said in a statement.
Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
The American Draper X3 looms were made by Draper Corp., and “were a significant factor in the movement of the cotton textile industry to the South,” the company said, adding that the looms “being sold to Dellinger date as far back as the Forties; some were original to the White Oak plant while others were reclaimed from outside sources and restored for use at the plant.”
Cone Denim president Steve Maggard said it is satisfying “to see a path forward for these iconic looms that allow them to remain in North Carolina and continue the legacy of American denim. The denim community has been so supportive of Cone Denim and the heritage of the White Oak plant, which will forever be a part of Cone Denim.”
Maggard said while the company will not be involved in the operation of the looms going forward, “we are pleased with the prospect of them finding a new home. Will Dellinger understands the heritage and history of these looms and we appreciate his commitment to putting them back in production here in North Carolina.”
Dellinger said in a statement that the looms are “an integral part of American textile history and I am excited by the possibilities of continuing their legacy. North Carolina is rich in textile resources and expertise and I look forward to collaborating with others as we fully explore the potential of the looms and develop plans for their future start-up.”
Cone Denim also said it will donate one of the looms to the Greensboro History Museum. “The loom will remain in the Greensboro community, available to the public, in support of the city’s denim heritage,” the company said. “Greensboro is the headquarters for Cone Denim, and the company continues to look for opportunities to preserve and share the Cone heritage within the local community.”
Dellinger could not be reached for further comment. In his LinkedIn profile, he lists himself as the founder and chief executive officer of Charlotte, N.C.-based JW Demolition.