This past December I participated in a very informative webinar regarding the current cotton market conditions. I had promised to share the info, so here we are at February already and I'm finally getting it to you!
Right now, here are the stats on current cotton production:
#1 - China, #2 - India, #3 - USA, #4 - Pakistan
China is the #1 grower of cotton, #1 in weaving today, and they are the largest consumers of cotton, with the USA being second in consumption. 80% of what is grown in the USA is exported. Why? Because we no longer have the mills here. We are seeing large price increases in cotton recently due to a plethora of reasons: hail storms in Texas, India not exporting, floods in Pakistan, and demand is outpacing supply. The price of raw cotton has doubled over the past year, but fortunately the price of fabric hasn't increased that much! One fact I found really interesting was the price comparison over time. When we look at the past 25 years(1985 to 2010), we see that housing prices have increased over 100%, threads are up more than 60%, food costs are up 50-100%, but retail fabric prices have only increased by 35%! Wow! So ladies, the next time your hubby gives you a hard time about buying fabric, pat yourself on the back and tell him you got the best bargain in town (especially if you shopped at Quilt Fabric Closeouts) :).