Sunday, April 10, 2011

What's Up With Cotton? The PRICES!!

 Been to the fabric store lately?  Got sticker shock?  Well hang on, it's not over with yet!  The price of fabric has been steadily rising for months now and it is only going to go higher.  There are many factors, floods in Pakistan which is one of the largest cotton producing countries, India reducing the amount of raw cotton it allows for export and China depleting it's existing supply of cotton.  China now has gone through most of their "stash" and are literally purchasing cotton at any price just to get their hands on it.

Cotton is a commodity that is traded on the open market like oil, gold, silver etc.  So, short supplies and higher demands have made the cotton futures skyrocket.  Large manufactures are having to pay anywhere from 18-35% MORE for their greige goods (pronounced "grey" goods, and describes raw, woven fabric that has not been treated, dyed or finished).  The cost of cotton back in 2005 was around .56 cents per's now at $1.52.  It all rolls downhill.

The prices are higher, the demand is higher and everyone is scrambling to get what they think they'll need for the future which is just going to drive the price up even more.  So, the bottom line here is.....even the home crafter/small business person is going to feel this pinch (actually we already are).

If you notice prices going up and up when your looking to purchase clothing or anything that is "fabric related" please keep in mind that it's not just the business owner trying to "make a buck", we're dealing with those increased prices too.

Micheal Bourlard, vice president, retail sales made this statement regarding the increase in cotton prices; " Hoffman California Fabrics and other textile manufacturers find ourselves inside a “perfect storm” of low supply, high demand and high prices for cotton. Thanks to a healthy greige goods inventory, we were able to keep our prices steady for nearly two years into the first half of this year. That supply now is nearly exhausted and unfortunately, we’ve been continually frustrated by an extremely volatile market with frequent price hikes." 

So as you shop and you see the prices creeping up know that I am doing my best to keep prices down.  I look for new ways to purchase fabrics at lower prices so I can still make my items affordable for you.  I shop all the "sales", purchase larger cuts of fabric, take advantage of "discontinued" prints that are often at a lower price, frequent yard sales, garage sales, thrift shops etc.  Fabrics are always laundered prior to cutting them out and stitching them together so you can be assured of a "clean" product!

Believe me, when the prices of cotton start coming down again you'll be the first to know!