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Global Cotton Usage and the Synthetic Market

Jason Mills, LLC is a manufacturer of knit textile products. Although our fabrics are derived exclusively from synthetic fibers, the global usage of cotton can still play a large role in our costs as many factors are inter-related. Chief amongst them is supply vs. demand. Cotton being a natural fiber is prone to huge shifts in costs as global climate change can wreck havoc on the crop. This of course can create a spike in cotton prices as was seen in 2011. Manufacturers that normally used 100% cotton began using synthetic blends to reduce expenses. Consequently this lead to higher demand for synthetic fibers, and thus costs were driven upward.

This can especially be seen in America now. The US has recently seen an increase in demand for synthetic fabrics as the price for cotton remains unstable. Additionally, companies discovered that buyers didn’t necessarily have a preference for cotton or synthetic fibers. Even though cotton prices have once again dropped, the demand for synthetics is still high. Hanes (a huge global user of cotton) Brand T-shirts recently announced that it would shift away from 100% cotton to a blend synthetic fiber.

To learn more about Jason Mills and our selection of industrial textiles, visit our website. And follow us on Twitter to stay up-to-date on the textile industry.

The Past, Present, and Future of the Textile Industry

Textile manufacturing is a fascinating and diverse industry, with a long and complex history, and exciting advances in modern technology that are continually being modified and improved.  To have an appreciation for the industry, we’d like to explore some of the roots of the textile industry, and then discuss some of what we’re anticipating for the future of textile fabrication.

Humankind has been interlacing threads and fibers for a very long time to make a variety of things, ranging from baskets and rugs to clothing and tapestries.  Textiles can have both practical uses and artistic value, and often both.  Several historical examples come to mind, such as the famous and desirable hand-woven Persian rugs, or the iconic Greek togas and tunics.  Textile trade flourished on the famed “Silk Road” where different dyes and materials made their way across Eurasia, disseminating different styles and practices, and contributing to the interdependence we see across ancient, medieval, and early modern culture, a phenomenon currently being showcased at the “Interwoven Globe” Exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Today, synthetic materials and automated looms have modernized the industry from the organic materials and hand-craftsmanship of its past.  The range and capability of modern synthetic materials and processes has vastly increased the type and capabilities of textiles, with applications as diverse as medical mesh, automotive textiles, and protective abrasion-resistant materials.  As technology moves forward, advances like 4D printing may have significant implications for a whole new scope of industries, as we are increasingly able to create materials that respond to external stimuli and adapt or change in specific ways based on what is around them.

Jason Mills has both a fond appreciation for the things that have brought the textile industry to its current place, and an eye on the future, as we see technology progress in exciting new ways and directions.  Make sure to visit our blog again to get our latest opinions and insights into the vast and interwoven world of the textile industry.