The Belt wide Cotton Conferences speed the transfer of new technology to U.S. cotton producers and other industry members with the goal of strengthening U.S. cotton’s competitive position in the world marketplace and enhancing industry members’ profitability. While cotton industry members recognize the wealth and range of information made available through these reports, they also gain valuable information from fellow attendees - cotton producers, processors, scientists, extension personnel, consultants, agribusiness representatives and others. This dialogue among all who have a vested stake in a healthy U.S. cotton sector helps industry members tailor new products and production/processing systems to their operations for maximum efficiency. 
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Dow Fiber Solutions

Forecasting 2011 color and fabric directions, Bengt Jacobsson, a consultant to Midland, Mich.-based Dow Fiber Solutions, recently showed new concepts developed using Dow XLA™ comfort stretch fiber. In general, he sees a return to organic - on the back burner for several seasons because of its high price tag in a struggling economy; technological advances with smart fiber blends and new finishing techniques; and emphasis on performance with fashion. "Bi-stretch is expanding," Jacobsson said. "A year ago, we had one mill involved. This year, there are 10."


For this new season, Jacobsson shows four directions that take us to sea. Soft, natural colors that reflect Nordic light in spring are in his Baltic Breeze group. He points out warm buff and pebble, blued grays, lavender and two yellowed greens. Casualwear fabrics are woven with cotton, linen or wool blended with XLA. They are soft and washed, but not vintage. Patterns tend to be small and discrete. Shirting fabrics shown include small checks in cotton/XLA from India-based Arvind Ltd. There are linen bottomweights from Parcotex Co. Ltd., Hong Kong, and herringbones and twills from Textil Santanderina, Spain.


In the Atlantic Shores story, classic sportswear colors are washed and sun-bleached. Flag colors and faded neutrals are shown. Fabrics are woven in cotton and cotton/nylon blends with XLA. Shirtings are nautical and preppy. There are chambrays, seersuckers, oxfords and piques. Patterns include regatta stripes, gingham checks and small dobbins. China-based mills Jiangsu Lianfa, Lutanist Textile Co. Ltd. and Youngor Sunrise are weaving them. Piqué, denim, clean twill and gabardine bottom weights are woven by Lufeng and Sunshine, both based in China, and India-based Variant.


Flower and sorbet colors are in the Mediterranean Cruise range. Light and bright strawberry shades, soft apricot, lime ice, glacier, surf and regatta blue have a chilled edge to them. Cotton/XLA satin stripes, openwork patterns and gingham shirting by Sequel Group, Hong Kong, have a late-1950s retro look. Bottom weights have subtle texture, sheen or a peach skin finish. There are lustered twills, honeycombs and basket weaves.


Pacific Sunset colors are vibrant. Intense golden yellow, neon pink, two red-purple shades, plum and sapphire blue are in this range. Fabrics have high shine, transparency, and a lot of stretch for close-fitting shapes. Lightweight polyurethane-coated fabrics in cotton/XLA from Bondex China Co. Ltd. are supple. Wool/polyester/XLA suiting weights from India-based Raymond Ltd. are cool to the touch.


A special focus is denim. Weights range from 7 to 12 ounces. Fabrics are supple; all have comfort stretch.

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