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Stay drier in the rain with Storm Denim

Southern readers associate the fall with one thing: cotton harvest. Fields of open white fiber usher in the first step in cotton’s long processing pipeline — a pipeline that ends at the retail store in your hometown.

For one company, its job is to make sure cotton is the choice of apparel-seeking consumers. That company is Cotton Incorporated. One way the company attempts to keep cotton the fabric of everyone’s life is by creating new and innovative ideas to improve the durability and functionality of cotton apparel.

They’ve done that with the Storm Denim finish for denim.

Storm Denim improves one of Americana’s most enduring and beloved apparel items: the denim jean.

Key Points

• Cotton Incorporated developed Storm Denim to increase cotton sales.

• The Storm Denim finish makes jeans water-repellent.

• A Canadian retailer offers the finish on jeans for $19.99 to $49.99.


“We strive to create new finishing processes that peek consumers’ interest and makes them want to buy that new pair of jeans, because with consumers, it’s all about the next new thing,” says David Earley, director of supply chain marketing for Cotton Incorporated.

Introduced two years ago, the Storm Denim finish was created with a very functional goal. “We wanted to offer a high degree of water repellency for use in rainwear and outerwear, while maintaining the comfort and breathability of cotton,” says William A. Rearick, director of textile chemistry research for Cotton Incorporated.

But does it really work?

Does the technology work? Well, when Southern Farmer, a sister publication to The Farmer-Stockman, found out that the Cotton Board’s vice president of communications, Brad Robb, was about to take a family vacation to Colorado earlier this year, he was asked to take a pair of the denim jeans with the Storm Denim finish to test them in the snow.

“It was amazing,” Robb says. “The people in our group couldn’t believe how the snow just fell away from the jeans.”

Those same folks, however, wondered: “How do you wash them if they’re water-repellent?”

“That’s the deal, they’re water-repellent, not water-resistant,” Robb says. “If you submerge them in water, the moisture will soak into the fabric. The jeans retain cotton’s inherent qualities like breathability and durability while being able to repel moisture.”

The jeans were featured at the Cotton Board trade show in Memphis, Tenn., along with a display that highlights how the technology works. The jeans are also being showcased across the Cotton Belt anywhere the Cotton Board’s regional communications managers attend industry meetings or events.

The Storm Denim finish has been adopted by Canadian workwear retailer Mark’s Work Warehouse and is available online at www2.marks.com/Products.asp?categoryID=518. Mark’s calls them Hyper-Dri HD1 Denim and touts “The jeans you love to wear every day, now water-repellent.” The jeans are offered in several styles and, on a recent visit, ranged in price from $19.99 to $49.99.

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NO MORE WET JEANS: Hyper-Dri HD1 jeans feature the Storm Denim finish developed by Cotton Incorporated.

This article published in the April, 2010 edition of THE FARMER-STOCKMAN.

All rights reserved. Copyright Farm Progress Cos. 2010.