Levi's® 501XX® 1966 - RIGID (Deadstock US made Cone Mills Denim)
• 12oz Cone Mills Red Selvedge denim (14oz after wash)
• Two back pockets with bar tacks instead of rivets
• “Two Horse” leather-like patch
• Twin needle Arcuate
• Big “E” double-sided red Tab
• 100% Cotton
• Made in the USA
• Non-sanforized (shrink to fit)
When Levi Strauss & Co. covered the back pocket rivets in 1937, everyone thought that would solve the problem of rivets scratching their furniture when they sat down. But those copper rivets were tougher than they looked—after a few years of hard wear, they continued to break right through the denim, scratching things up again. By 1966, technology had caught up with history, and it was possible to bar tack the 501® Jean’s back pockets, replacing the back pocket rivets. The text on the pocket flasher indicates this change. This small change maintained the jean’s notorious durability, while finally solving that decades-long furniture-scratching issue. This particular style of 501® Jean—with bar tacks and a big “E” red Tab—only existed from 1966 to 1971. What does this mean for the 1966 501® Jean? It means someone who hitchhiked their way to San Francisco in 1967 and bought a pair of 501® Jeans was not only experiencing a once-in-a-lifetime event, but was wearing a unique pair of jeans—a pair which would change again when the Summer of Love was just a faded memory.
On December 31st 2017 Cone Mills White Oak Plant closed its doors for the last time spelling the end of an era for US denim and in particular US denim for Levi's®. Cone Mills has supplied Levi's® since 1915 when a handshake agreement made them exclusive suppliers of XX denim for their 501’s®. Levi's® Vintage Clothing has now used up all remaining stock of Cone Mills denim so are now using Japanese denim. They have also moved production from the US to Turkey (where a lot of regular Levi's® range is already made). There will be no more US-made US denim Levis anytime soon if ever. These jeans we offer really are the last of an icon, when they are gone they are gone.
Sizes are listed as their waist size but will shrink to fit. The waist will shrink up to 2" and the length 2-3". Download Levi’s® Shrink To Fit™ Guide to understand more about their vintage dry denim and how to treat your jeans so they are perfect for you.