Denim brands including Levis Strauss and Wrangler are facing instability in the cost of the heavy cloth, which could lead to a hike in the price of many of its pieces.
Industry executives have seen denim mills, which traditionally fixed fabric prices between annual cotton harvests, start to increase their prices on a week-to-week and a day-to-day basis, according to the Financial Times.
Jack Matthews, vice-president of fabric sales at Plains Cotton Cooperative Association, said volatility levels were “about as crazy as I’ve seen in my career”.
“A number of mills around the world seem to have taken business without having covered their cotton supply, hoping the price would drop,” he added.
VF Corporation, owner of the Wrangler and Lee brands, recently said it expects an increase in prices for cotton-based fabrics to contribute to a rise in input costs at the end of 2010 and into 2011.