Business: Denim Blues

A fanny shortage

Blue denim wove its way through the social revolutions of the '60s and '70s, clothing everyone from Yippies to Sun Day activists and pushing worldwide production last year to a record 750 million yds. Alas, that was more denim than there were fannies to fill it. Result: a glut of material and sharp cutbacks at the plants that make it, even though sales of jeans, jackets and other finished items have remained high. Wall Street analysts figure that U.S. production will drop this year to about 500 million yds.

Cone Mills of Greensboro, N.C., the world's largest producer, now...

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