Levi to Use New Colored Cotton
Levi Strauss & Co., which made its name with blue jeans, hopes to see green with brown denims made from naturally colored cotton that needs no dye and deepens in hue instead of fading.
The leading brand-name clothing manufacturer is releasing a limited number of “coyote brown” men’s jeans in time for Christmas and plans national distribution next summer.
“We’re really thrilled about this. I had a jacket on the other day, and everyone wanted to come up and touch it. They were fascinated by the color,” Levi Strauss spokeswoman Jill Novack said Thursday.
“Levi’s Naturals” are made from cotton fiber that actually grows reddish brown and weaves into softer cloth than white varieties, said Sally Fox, who developed and holds patents on the “Fox Fibre.”
“There’s a manufacturing advantage in that you don’t have to dye it. That saves (companies) a huge process,” she said.
Because no dye is used, she said, the underlying cloth doesn’t whiten but darkens and looks more like suede.
Fox owns and operates Natural Cotton Colours Inc. in Wasco, a farming community in California’s San Joaquin Valley. She breeds cotton at her 35-acre nursery there and grows it in Texas and Arizona.
She has also developed a darker, less-red buffalo brown and a forest green. Other colors under development include various verdant shades and a brick red that becomes mauve when made into denim.
Levi Strauss has turned the fabric into its relaxed-style 550 jeans and will offer them starting Dec. 15 at several as yet undecided stores nationwide.