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Your Tight Jeans Almost Ruined the American $

December 21, 2013 2 min read

So for a little over a hundred years, the U.S. dollar has been printed on a rather unique cotton blend paper.  The blend allows manufacturers to imbed holograms, watermarks, and other identifying features to make it harder counterfeiters to reproduce.  This paper is made using scraps of denim sold in bulk by the garment industry.  About 30 percent of the cotton, to be exact, used for paper bills has come from leftover denim (the rest coming from a variety of other textile wastes).  Everything was great and the mints continued to make money from our pants. Then, in the 1990s, the fashion industry showed just how far their tendrils could reach.  The world fell in love with tight, stretchy jeans — tight, stretchy jeans that weren't just plain old denim anymore. Spandex was mixed with denim and the clash of the picture perfect butt with the US Mint was about to come to a head. Take a look at this tasty little snippet from The Washington Post:
Even a single fiber of spandex can ruin a batch of currency paper, degrading the strength of the material. But separating the spandex from the cotton would be a Herculean task, Rudd said. By the early 2000s, almost every pair of jeans contained at least a hint of stretch — rendering them useless to Crane [the company that makes U.S. dollars].
Now Crane has to buy cotton straight from the source, what a pity.  What a shame.  It turns out that you really can't fight the fashion industry and you certainly can't try to bully women into giving up their favorite pair of skinnies.  Perhaps that's why the US government didn't even try.  Perhaps 'Crane' should try going thrift shopping or hitting up grandparents around the US for some leftovers. Our hot, sexy asses: 1, U.S. dollar: 0.  Take that US Government.

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