According to the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC), the worldwide demand for fibre is growing by about 3-4 percent each year as a result of population growth and rising wealth. While cotton remains the most widely used natural fibre, over the past 30 years natural fibres have lost market share to synthetic fibres.
In the 1960s cotton made up about 70% of the world fibre market, today cotton accounts for less than 25%. Polyester demand passed that of cotton in 2002, and has continued to grow at a significantly faster rate than all other fibre types.
Synthetic fibres are man-made fibres made from polymers produced artificially from stocks such as crude oil, as opposed to natural fibres made from naturally occuring polymers such as cellulose (plants) and proteins (animals).
The ICAC also reports:
- Cotton production in 2019/20 is expected to reach 27.2 million tonnes (up 6% from prior year)
- Cotton consumption will increase 1.7% to 26.9 million tonnes in 2019/20
Source: Lenzing website
Source: PCI Fibres Red Book