Think about classic blue jeans. The rich color comes from indigo, and it’s so ubiquitous both in fashion and in the American cultural imagination that it’s easy to imagine denim cloth as a naturally occurring phenomenon. It’s not. To get that blue-jeans hue, the yarn that’s eventually woven into denim has to be pulled through a dozen boxes, each filled with up to 2,000 liters of liquid dye and water, lined up to reach the collective length of a football field. Textile threads require multiple exposures to indigo dye to truly absorb the color, and this system is used across the industry as the foundation for one of the most popular pieces of clothing across the world. [Photo: courtesy Wrangler] Wrangler , which has been making western-style blue jeans since 1947, is now breaking with this manufacturing tradition. The brand, along with jeans company Lee, was an early investor in a new method of denim dyeing , developed at Texas Tech, that foregoes the yards of dye vats for a more streamlined process that transmits indigo dye via foam. [Photo: courtesy Wrangler] “The significance of this new foam-dye process is really predicated on what it replaced,” says Roian Atwood, […]

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