Manufacturers Turn to Blended Alternatives
The latest trend to emerge in textiles has less to do with hemlines and everything to do with the soaring cost of fibre.
Cotton, wool and polyester prices have leapt dramatically in the past year because of the growing disparity between supply and demand. Flooding in major cotton-producing provinces in Australia, China, and Pakistan is partly to blame, as well as rising demand from China. As a result, industry experts expect the price of apparel to see an uptick as high as 15 percent.
Although we can expect to see more synthetics on the market due to higher costs, the entire textile industry is in a state of uncertainty. Wool prices have risen by 40 percent in the past year, while the cost of nylon and polyester increased by 15 to 20 percent in the last quarter of 2010.
To cope with the price differential, buyers need to get creative….
Our own fibre, CRAiLAR® Flax is soft like cotton, has a similar color, possesses similar performance traits and is cool and comfortable to wear year-round. CRAiLAR® Flax in comparison to cotton look the same, fit the same and wash the same. CRAiLAR® Flax fibres shrink less than cotton fibres do, wick moisture better, and have increased dye uptake meaning they take less chemicals to reach the same color levels.
With cotton prices currently well over a dollar per pound, flax is a cost-effective raw material for fibre production. We estimate that we will be able to provide CRAiLAR® Flax at approximately $0.90 – $1.25 per pound making it an economically viable complement to cotton.