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Edited by on May 11 2011 at 7:05 AM

The touch, the feel of cotton, the fabric that’s ruining our lives. World production of cotton has dropped 40 percent, mostly it seems because China insists on feeding its people. Selfish.

Uh oh, Cotton Is As Expensive As It Was During Civil War, or, Further Reasons to Avoid the South

China — or as I like to refer to it, “Future America” — is the world’s largest producer of cotton but farmers are growing more corn and soy products to feed its population of 1.34 billion.

The Chinese government has created an incentive for their farmers to grow more cotton, which senior VP of Cotton Inc. Mark Messura says is a sure sign “cotton is in short supply in China.”

Other factors include natural disasters in Texas, the U.S.’s largest cotton producer, leading to¬†cotton consumption currently outweighing projected production by 3 million bales. As a result, Messura anticipates “high prices to continue over the next several months.”

As we all know, the Civil War was fought over cotton — and nothing else — but I doubt designers will start talk of¬†seceding from the nation to form their own country, Couturia. Though if that’s happening I’m hopping ship ASAP. [WWD]


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Story by Lester Brathwaite

I was center square from 1969 to 1978, during which I perfected the art of the zing as well as a crippling cocaine addiction. Bea Arthur was responsible for both. @LesFabian lester at