November 2011 management briefing: Fibres and yarns
Following a period of turmoil over the past year as apparel retailers, brands and manufacturers grappled with soaring cotton costs, this month’s management briefing from just-style looks at the latest fluctuations in the market. Natural fibres and yarns still hold strong, there is talk of a rise in domestic yarn and fibre sourcing in the west, man-made fibres are waiting in the wings, and cotton supplies fuel the struggle between Indian producers and users.
While natural fibres and yarns are still a mainstay of the global textile and clothing market, some resources are beginning to run scarce - prompting experts to warn it is only a matter of time before man-made fibres (MMF) begin to dominate.
Between T-shirts that incorporate technology allowing people to chat up someone from across the dance floor to vests that can monitor the wearer's health, the past decade has seen some extraordinary developments in high-tech smart fibres and fabrics.
India's textile and clothing industry has been feeling the pinch this year from rising cotton costs. Its leaders have criticised the central government's decision to allow unrestricted exports of cotton from October this year, and are calling for a long term policy to ensure the sufficient supply and price stability of the fibre in the domestic market.
The purchase of yarns, fibres and other materials from developing countries for rich country-controlled garment manufacturing has long been a cost-effective business practice. But many factors - including high shipping costs and delays in supplies - have caused companies in recent years to look for a supply chain that is closer to home.
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