Stock up now. The 'fabric of our lives' is getting a higher price tag.
Cotton clothing is costing more. Buttons are starting to get smaller to conserve cotton thread. And companies are looking at alternative fabrics to keep prices down.
Prices have soared almost 80% higher in the past few months. The reason? It's simple economics: supply and demand. Because of the recession, less people have wanted products made of cotton, so prices have been low. Demand, however, started to pick up again this year. At the same time, bad weather damaged crops in China, India, and Pakistan – all major cotton producers. This choked off a big chunk of global cotton supply. So, more demand + less supply = more expensive cotton.
Oh, and speculators also entered the market to bet on cotton, driving up prices even further.
Polyester just got a little more en vogue.