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Thread: What Marcus Fabrics has to say about price increases

  1. #1
    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
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    This is an excerpt from a newsletter that we just received from Marcus last night. With all the concern about prices, I thought you might like to know what the manufacturers are telling the retail shops.

    "What is causing the price increases? First, there is a worldwide cotton shortage, now in its second year. The situation was significantly compounded by the flooding in Pakistan, which decimated the local cotton crops. Cotton prices are up over 100% from this time last year. Additionally, there are labor shortages, dollar devaluations and a list of global economic conditions in general; together, these affect the pricing on all products coming out of China. Not only has this created a shortage of greige goods for printing in China, but adversely affected the cost of the greige goods available worldwide. While we do print in Korea, the majority of the greige comes from China.

    Looking ahead, what can we expect? We have experienced shortages in the past, but this particular set of conditions is like no other we have ever experienced in our 100-year history. In addition, greed and corruption are fueling extreme price fluctuations, as greige goods producers hold out for the best price. This cannot last forever, and hopefully the market will stabilize in the first quarter of 2011. The good news is that we are just now hearing that the cost of cotton is going down. However, these lower prices will likely not be reflected in the market for another six to nine months; as with any commodity, cotton costs rise faster than they fall. The challenge is that we must produce goods at the today's pricing. It will be a difficult 2011 for all of us, both within the industry and beyond."


    BTW... Moda has been holding their prices steady, even for their new 2011 lines. When the rep stopped by, she said that they were able to do this because they had been working with the same suppliers and mills for so long, that they had excellent relationships built up with them. Perhaps the good connections allow them to avoid the greedy suppliers? Only Moda knows...

  2. #2
    Super Member Lynnejean's Avatar
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    very interesting. Thank you for sharing.

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    Super Member amandasgramma's Avatar
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    Yip -- that's what they were talking about on the FoxBusiness channel. I suggested to DH that we take the guest room and start stashing LOADS of fabric in there....fill the room up. I got "that" look from him .....guess that won't happen!!!

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    joan_quilts's Avatar
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    I think we should produce our own products in America. I don't know why fabric has to come from China. With all the bad press of China products, you would think we could produce enough cotton crops for our country. I don't like the fact the China as put lead in toys, bad chemicals in tooth paste, etc. JMO

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    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
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    I think that everything comes from China because it's cheaper to produce it over there. Fewer labor costs, and less environmental controls.

    We have been trained to shop by price first and foremost, for years, and this is one of the consequences.

    From what I've been told by folks in the textile industry, all the cotton combing and weaving equipment left our shores over a decade ago. Even if we *wanted* to bring it back... that would take quite some time. And we are an impatient society.

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    Senior Member Jamiestitcher62's Avatar
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    Wait until it takes a wheelbarrow full of money to buy a yard of fabric in the not too distant future. When the FED
    prints money to pay our debt, our bucks are worth less. Yippie, can't wait (sarc). Thank God I have a pretty good stash built up and can probably quilt for a few years at least until I'm out.

    About the cheap labor in China, we drove those businesses overseas by labor not being competitive and taxing the heck out them. Apparently if we want our companies to stay here we have to provide incentive for them to do so.

    Start stocking up on the fabric ladies. Such a chore, I know LOL.

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    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamiestitcher62
    Wait until it takes a wheelbarrow full of money to buy a yard of fabric in the not too distant future. When the FED
    prints money to pay our debt, our bucks are worth less. Yippie, can't wait (sarc). Thank God I have a pretty good stash built up and can probably quilt for a few years at least until I'm out.
    Just had a terrible thought.... do they use cotton in printing money???

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    Super Member I go To The Sea To Breathe's Avatar
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    very interesting discussion ladies.

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    Super Member Rebecca VLQ's Avatar
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    Woo....looks like I started my fast just in time! :lol:

    Thanks for the info...it's good to know what the real deal is, as it applies to the consumer!

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    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Thank you for keeping us informed :D:D:D

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    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    this is the result of making ourselves dependent on other countries for products that we always produced here. i wonder if buying from china at high costs really is a savings when it put so many people here out of work and now they have to collect unemployment, go on welfare, need food stamps and health care?
    it seems that what we saved in products we pay in taxes to support those programs for the needy. something to think about when we buy from china and turn our backs on people who need help feeding their families.

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    Super Member gale's Avatar
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    thanks for the info! Moda might be holding their prices steady but from what I've seen and read, the shops are still charging higher prices for Moda fabrics.

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    Super Member bjnicholson's Avatar
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    I just ordered some Laurel Burch fab from PM Quilting and it was only $8.50 a yd compared to others who (if they have it) are charging $9.00 to $9.50. So, not all companies are passing it on.

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    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjnicholson
    I just ordered some Laurel Burch fab from PM Quilting and it was only $8.50 a yd compared to others who (if they have it) are charging $9.00 to $9.50. So, not all companies are passing it on.
    It all depends... if as a shop you have lower overhead, or live closer to Clothworks (who makes the Laurel Burch fabric) so that you pay less in shipping, or if your shop rent is lower, then you can price your goods a bit less.

    I can tell you that the fabric manufacturers pretty much charge all their customers the same price. Maybe some of the "favorite" shops get a tiny discount of 25 cents / yard or so.

    Be aware, though, that some shops charge a higher regular price, but then run sales or promotions. Other shops may not run sales as often but try to keep their everyday price lower.

    As in everything, you have to shop around.

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    Quote Originally Posted by joan_quilts
    I think we should produce our own products in America. I don't know why fabric has to come from China. With all the bad press of China products, you would think we could produce enough cotton crops for our country. I don't like the fact the China as put lead in toys, bad chemicals in tooth paste, etc. JMO
    AMEN. We have out sourced so much to other countries we have cut our own noses off !!!

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    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Thank-you for the informed update. I always value information from those closest to real issue. It is generous of you to share with all of us.

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    Super Member candi's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing this information with us. I, for one, appreciate staying informed from the source.

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    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing with all of us!

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    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joan_quilts
    ... you would think we could produce enough cotton crops for our country.O
    Well, we probably *do* produce enough cotton crops to cover our own needs. The US is one of the world's top 3 producers of cotton (see this informative link: http://unctad.org/infocomm/anglais/cotton/market.htm)

    However, we apparently do not do much of the processing of cotton anymore.

    "Cotton consumption has shifted to developing countries mainly as a reflection of rising wage levels in developed countries. In the textile sector, labour accounts for about 1/6 of production costs. This means that raising labour costs eroded the competitive edge of developed countries, and contributed to the shifting of cotton processing to low-cost economies (most notably Asia and the Maghreb, but also Africa). "

    If you followed the link above, you will not that China is now the world's largest producer of cotton. So it makes sense that they would also be the main producer of greige goods (unprinted cotton cloth) especially given their low labor costs.

    So... what does this mean? While we occasionally find a company that says "our fabric is made from cotton grown in the USA" that's about as close to home as we can get. For quilting cottons, I think that Santee is the only plant that still prints in the US, and even so, the greige goods come from overseas.

    What's a quilter to do? Well, you could do what I've tried to do: let the fabric manufacturers know that we at least would like our fabrics made from cotton that's grown in the US. I've spoken to people from several companies and have told them that it would be a good marketing edge, if they could do as Connecting Threads has done, and at least say that their fabric is from US-grown cotton. I don't know if they have been listening, but I've tried to tell them it would be good for their business.

    My voice alone is small. Perhaps more voices together would be persuasive!

  20. #20
    Super Member Sheila Elaine's Avatar
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    When I was a small child, my Dad & Uncle grew cotton crops on their parents land in Randolph Co, AL, on the border with GA. This was in the late 40s, early 50s. My dad had to take a Government job 50 miles away in order to feed three children & his wife, & we moved 50 miles away; however, my uncle (his brother) stayed on the farm & continued to grow cotton, but about 1954, the Government took over & started paying farmers not to grow cotton. My Mother's parents & siblings also moved close to us 50 miles away & my Grandfather worked for the Government also. The migration of farmers had already started to the Northern Car Mfg States, so I remember thinking what is going on. After the Government quit paying farmers to grow cotton, my Uncle went to work in a factory in GA, at a factory where they produce copper tubing & wiring. Back then, folks worked at whatever jobs they could get. Government workers had Health Insurance, Blue/Cross/Blue Shield of Alabama, so that's the first time our family had it.

    Here we are 56 years later, but many have lost jobs, health insurance, and other benefits they had at their jobs. I have only seen two or three cotton crops in the field in the last 15 years & that was in North AL. I'm sure there are many who would go to farming if the Government would start programs to help them obtain loans to buy farming tractors & equipment to get started again. We are several generations away from the 50s, but there are some older folks still around who could instruct the younger workers how to grow cotton, corn, gardens and other crops. Times change but I am curious if this could happen and bring back our equipment from overseas to reopen our garment factories that were taken away here in NE Ala where I live now. My DIL low her job in a sports clothing mfg shop and many in & around Ft. Payne, AL lost jobs at Sock Mills. Ft. Payne was the Worlds leading sock producer for years until they bought up all the machines & sent the all overseas. Now you have a lot of folks around that area still unemployed.

    My feeling is America needs to supply to America before they supply the rest of the world. Where is there a politician that can appoint folks to get out & travel & see what needs to happen to get America running again. We always need military facilities to train our soldiers, plus factories to make supplies for the military. There has been cuts of military bases and I for one feel that is not right. If we have to destroy America to build up other countries, who is on the front line taking note of this.

    I'll do without factory produced fabric until folks get their heads out of the sand & push for our jobs to come back to our shores. I'll use what fabric I have & what I can obtain from thrift stores & the like, or placed the have fabric outlets. I watch the fashion runway shows & shows that sell high priced clothes, but we can get by with what we have now until the prices can come down at sales. Folks could make their own clothes like they once did if we had fabric we could afford and classes to teach the ones who don't know how to sew. Our society has become so fashion & idol conscious it makes me sick.

  21. #21
    Member Lisa's Stitching Post's Avatar
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    My Moda rep said all of the upcoming new lines being released in January will probably be 35 cents a yard higher.

  22. #22
    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
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    More about the story of socks here:

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...oryId=16661333

    It's very much worth reading!

    And here's a link to very fun socks that are made in the USA - made from recycled scrap cotton into yarn spun in the USA to knitted and finished in the USA. What's not to like about that? http://www.socklady.com I'm wearing my favorite pair now, that my mother-in-law gave me for Christmas last year and they are holding up beautifully, much better than the department-store variety. Plus they have character!

  23. #23
    Super Member IrishNY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Favorite Fabrics
    Quote Originally Posted by Jamiestitcher62
    Wait until it takes a wheelbarrow full of money to buy a yard of fabric in the not too distant future. When the FED
    prints money to pay our debt, our bucks are worth less. Yippie, can't wait (sarc). Thank God I have a pretty good stash built up and can probably quilt for a few years at least until I'm out.
    Just had a terrible thought.... do they use cotton in printing money???
    I have a BIL who works for the company that makes the paper for money. He's a paper scientist. I will ask him but I'm not sure he can tell me.

  24. #24
    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisa's Stitching Post
    My Moda rep said all of the upcoming new lines being released in January will probably be 35 cents a yard higher.
    Lisa, you can see for yourself on the B2BWEB portion of Moda's website that it isn't so. Lines that are coming out in April 2011 are priced at only 10 cents / yard more than the ones that shipped in April 2010. If you don't have (business) access to their site just ask them to set you up for it.

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    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    Part of the problem of US products being not cost competitive with foreign products is that the US is not charging tariffs on almost all the products coming from China, Japan and the Middle East. But they do charge tariffs on products coming from Europe, Australia, etc. Think about that....those companies do not pay any taxes to our country, and their prices are so low Americans buy their products rather than our own USA products. Basically we are sending all our money overseas. That's a pretty scary thought to me...I wonder why Congress ever thought this was a good idea!!!

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