So, what’s going on in the fiber world?Planning for the future is often difficult, and now is no exception. There are a number of external forces which are affecting those of us who use wool, silk, cashmere, and dyes. All of these factors are creating uncertainty as we source these items to create hand-dyed yarns and fibers for our customers.
One of the most significant factors is the drought conditions that have affected sheep ranchers in Australia and South Africa. Ranchers are unable to adequately feed herds at their current numbers, so they have had to reduce herd size. This means there is less wool available which is driving prices for wool up in the market. There is currently not enough fine wool (such as Merino) grown in the US to meet domestic demand to replace fiber purchased from outside the US.
Another factor is tariffs on fibers such as cashmere and silk, as well as on dyes that are all currently sourced from China by our vendors. We are seeing cost increases now, and we are told that additional tariffs are to be expected in January 2019.
For now, we do not have other sources for these items. These increases in price will not hit each yarn base equally. Some items will be hit by the overall wool price increase, some will be subject to both tariff impact and overall fiber price increase.
We are not adjusting prices today. But we will stay in touch and advise you about what is happening.
Additionally, new laws are coming into force regarding sales tax for online sales even for out-of-state customers. We are subject to these laws, and so some of you who do not live in Tennessee will begin to see sales tax charged on your purchases.