For the first time since 1995, the price of a pound of cotton is above $US1.
The rising cost of cotton is being blamed on speculators and a shortage after farmers switched to other crops at the start of the global downturn.
Though a higher price is great for farmers, clothing makers are under under pressure, with many larger retailers in the United States and Britain already warning they will be forced to put up prices.
Levis, one of the world's best known clothes makers, says it will put up prices on some of its products.
Sustainable Textiles Solutions cotton specialist Graham Burden says the shortage is likely to remain as demand picks up.