Cotton fabric sales normally hit a peak in the summer months. Yet leading European producers such as Filatures de Chenimenil are now busily promoting "warm cotton" as a mid-season alternative to lightweight wool and as a result are looking for impressively expanded sales from the start of the winter 2000-01 season. At the recent Expofil yarn fair in Paris for instance, Filatures de Chenimenil chairman and chief executive Francois-Regis de Seze commented: "The combined output from each of our three production sites now tops 14,000 tons a year ― more than five times the amount we were producing at the start of the 1980s which most textile manufacturers now look back on as a 'golden age' when they operated in what was effectively a sellers market." He attributes his company's continuing progress through the "bad times" to the fact that Filatures de Chenimenil has never been tempted to be other than a specialist. "From the foundation of our organization in 1909 to the present day we have always concentrated on spinning fine count cotton yarns," he explained. "However, in recent years we have discovered that our past expertise in ring spinning American origin cotton has enabled us to move very successfully into the polycotton sector."By Sonia Roberts.