Home / Knowledge / News / Textiles / Textile trade conversion factors revised down for cotton
Textile trade conversion factors revised down for cotton
Oct '09
This month, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) begins publishing textile trade data using new conversion factors. Over the last 20 years, the efficiency of cotton use in yarn spinning has gradually increased, and recycling at various stages of textile production has grown in importance. Increased efficiency means that less raw cotton fiber is consumed to produce the same volume of textile products, and USDA has adjusted its cotton textile trade conversion factors down to account for the change.

The volume of fiber used to produce yarn is inevitably larger than the volume of yarn produced due to losses during cleaning, carding, and spinning. However, new technology means that, while at one time, about 10 percent of the cotton fiber used by spinning mills was not incorporated into any textile products, today that figure has fallen to 5 percent. The result is that, whereas 111 pounds of cotton fiber were previously required to produce 100 pounds of yarn, now only 105 pounds are required.

USDA also reviewed its estimates of the shares of various fibers incorporated in some products, and reduced the estimated share of cotton in a small number of products. As a result, the estimates for U.S. textile trade in terms of other fibers are now marginally higher.

USDA's estimated mill-use equivalence of the cotton fiber in U.S. textile trade is about 5 percent lower with the new conversion factors. In 2008, net textile imports in cotton fiber terms were estimated at 8.4 million pounds (17.6 million bales) using the old conversion factors, but the estimate is now 8.0 million pounds (16.6 million bales).

The largest change in trade for other fibers is in estimated imports of manmade fibers, up 0.3 percent, from 6.83 million pounds to 6.84 million. For all fibers, the decline in estimated trade is smaller than for cotton. USDA's estimated mill-use equivalence of all fibers in U.S. textile trade is 3 percent lower with the new conversion factors. In 2008, net textile imports in all fiber terms were estimated at 14.4 million pounds using the old conversion factors, but the estimate is now 14.1 million pounds. Cotton's share of U.S. textile trade is also smaller. In 2008, cotton's share of net textile imports is now estimated at 56.8 percent, compared with 58.2 percent using the old conversion factors.

Since the large majority of cotton products consumed in the United States are imported, the estimated end-use of cotton products by U.S. households in 2008 is also smaller, down 4.3 percent or 940,00 bales, to 20.9 million bales. Cotton's estimated share of all fibers in U.S. end-use is also lower with the new conversion factors, down from 42.2 percent to 41.2 percent.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Must ReadView All

Textiles | On 24th Jul 2017

Gartex all set to feature garment, textile solutions

Complete value chain of garment and textile manufacturing solutions...

Courtesy: Abercrombie & Fitch

Apparel/Garments | On 23rd Jul 2017

Abercrombie & Fitch launches products on Alibaba Tmall

Abercrombie & Fitch has announced the launch of Abercrombie & Fitch...

Apparel/Garments | On 23rd Jul 2017

NRF urges Congress to reject border adjustment tax

The National Retail Federation has urged Congress to reject a...

Interviews View All

Smita Murarka

‘There is huge demand in the Indian lingerie market for non-wired styles.’

Janak Dhamanwala & Sunil Dhamanwala

Moving towards sustainability is also a social change

Nitin Soni
Dolphin Jingwei Machines

Taxation policies need to be made simpler

Lynda Kelly
Suominen Corporation

Suominen Corporation is a manufacturer of nonwovens as roll goods for...

Marcel Alberts

Coating at a fibre level is a practice not usually seen in the...

Steve Cole
Xerium Technologies

Steve Cole of Xerium Technologies discusses the industry. Xerium is the...

Mike Hoffman
Gildan Activewear SRL

Gildan Activewear, a manufacturer and marketer of branded clothing and...

Judy Frater
Somaiya Kala Vidya

Among the many honours showered on Frater, including Fulbright and Ford...

Aditi Somani
Aditi Somani

Aditi Somani specialises in luxury fusion wear with international cuts and ...

Press Release

Press Release

Letter to Editor

Letter to Editor

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Submit your press release on


Letter To Editor

(Max. 8000 char.)

Search Companies


July 2017

Subscribe today and get the latest update on Textiles, Fashion, Apparel and so on.

news category

Related Categories:

Planning to Take the Leap towards

Do you see sustainability as a route to business growth?

Yes No

Do you think the sustainability space has the needed tools and resources available for a business to lead change?

Yes No

Do you think adopting a sustainable approach will be a profitable move for your business?

Yes No

Do you want the world to know about your sustainability journey and your business’ environmental footprint?

Yes No

Thanks for your valuable feedback. Claim your free latest sustainability e-book.

E-News Insight
Subscribe Today and Get the
Latest News Update in Your Mail Box.
Advanced Search