There's no such thing as American flannel anymore. These entrepreneurs didn't like that idea

How's this for a a comfortable story? Second only to bluejeans, there's perhaps no type of clothing more associated with rugged American individualism than flannel. Ranchers, hunters, rockers, skiers, workers--they all wore American flannel.

But, the last flannel fabric actually produced in the United States was more than two decades ago.

Enter Bayard Winthrop, CEO of American Giant (makers of a $100 sweatshirt reviewed as "the greatest hoodie ever made"), and James McKinnon, head of textile manufacturer Cotswold Industries ("I spent years touring with the Grateful Dead. ... I wore one flannel shirt for two years.") 

Both men are Gen Xer flannel fanatics going back to the Carter administration, and they teamed up to try to reboot the American fabric.

Result: Complex negotiations, visits to every corner of the country searching for potential partners, delays and disappointment--and finally, coming soon, a limited run of 1,000 flannel shirts under the American Giant brand name.

"We wanted to start an American-made business and build it to scale," Winthrop told the New York Times. "It's worth it for that alone -- to prove the ability to do it."

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