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Is Cotton Clothing a Thing of the Past?

(CBS News) -- Cotton used to be used in almost everything we wear, now cotton in clothing is increasingly being replaced with synthetic materials.
(CBS News) -- Cotton used to be used in almost everything we wear, now cotton in clothing is increasingly being replaced  with synthetic materials.

For clothing designer Yoana Baraschi, cotton used to be the fabric of choice, but not anymore. 

Barashci is using more and more man-made material in her designs  including  polyester, lycra and even neoprene rubber. Shes not the only one, imports of apparel made from synthetic fiber are up 20 percent over the last three years, cotton clothing has dropped 14 percent. 

Yoana Baraschi shares her opinion on the future, “it’s not going to be pure cotton anymore it’s going to be a blend.”

Cotton started losing ground in 2011 when commodity traders helped push prices higher to near record levels. That caused manufacturers started blending cotton with cheaper synthetics.

Cotton prices have come back down…but designers are sticking with clothes that combine synthetics and cotton. Baraschi says one reason is that they often fit better. “We got use to a certain level of comfort the stretch fibers give you.” 

Baraschi says cotton will always be present in the industry, Julia Hughs, president of the US Fashion Industry Association, agrees.  “I don’t think cotton is going to go away, I think cotton is going to stay strong.”

Even though synthetics influence today’s styles, cotton remains in fashion. 

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