WASHINGTON — It’s a long-standing tradition at the United States Mint, where the U.S. flag is always flown at half-staff.
But the American flag is being used to decorate a new line of cotton-based “crafting” materials: Decking paint.
It’s part of a $200 million marketing campaign, which includes a $100 million grant to U.K.-based Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars.
Woodrow has been working on this kind of creative-material innovation for the past few decades, including in the clothing industry, and has made many of its materials.
But it was the first time the Mint had used cotton to create a decking product.
The materials can be used for many applications, from carpets to paper to wallpaper, said Mint spokeswoman Stephanie Ewing.
The material is made of fibers such as nylon, silk, rayon and silk-cotton blend, she said.
Some of the materials are environmentally friendly.
The U.s. has no requirement for all cotton-containing products to be made with alternative fibers.
Woodroffe says it’s working with U.k.-based textile supplier Bamboo, which makes the materials, to make its cotton-like materials.
Woodreffe also partnered with the Center for Industrial Design at Cornell University, which is designing the fabric.
Woodree Wilson International Center for Scholars (CIDCS) has a long history of working with craft and artisans.
The Mint created the first “craft” stamp in 1878, said Gary Ewing, an art history professor at Washington University in St. Louis.
“The Mint was the world’s largest manufacturing company, and they started manufacturing coins,” he said.
The mint’s most notable innovation was the mint’s first coin with a design from the famous painter John Singer Sargent, who died in 1957.
But in the 1950s and ’60s, Woodreffs products were widely used in the jewelry, home furnishings and clothing industries.
It was the U and P Corporation, which was part of the Dow Chemical Company, that created the Dow-Patten coin in the 1960s, according to the Mint.
In the 1980s, it was a partnership between Woodrefese and the American Apparel & Footwear Manufacturers Association, which sold about 50,000 pairs of woolen sweaters annually, according the Mint’s Web site.
In 2004, Woodree International teamed up with American Apples and a team of designers to create the new “craft paint” material.
“We have a great, broad, global reach and are very well positioned to do great things with the resources we have in the U, and the people we have here,” Woodrefeff said.
He also noted that the Mint has a “great relationship with many of the apparel manufacturers in the United Kingdom.”