For over a century, every last bit of paper money that's circulated around the United States has come from just one single supplier, Crane & Co. But as The Washington Post found out, that century of loyalty was almost for naught when the 90s came along and brought with it a new menace to American currency; Crane had to overhaul their entire production process thanks to none other than lycra-laced, skin-tight denim.
Since the late 1800s, when Crane came on as the go-to paper money supplier for the US, the company had been depending on unwanted scraps of denim sold in bulk by manufacturers in the garment industry. To turn that denim into the cotton-blend paper we stick in our wallets, the company would bleach and process the discarded scraps, ultimately getting about 30 percent of the fibers needed from that denim. Now, thirty percent may not sound like that much, but those scraps were the single largest source of cotton for Crane. Until the hipster descended upon the country, that is.