Investigating levels of knowledge about cotton, mohair, and wool fiber utilization, characteristics, and care among Texas manufacturers and United States retailers of apparel and home furnishings sewn products
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The primary purpose of this study was to analyze and compare levels of knowledge about the fiber utilization, characteristics, and care of cotton, mohair, and wool among Texas manufacturers and U.S. retailers. A secondary purpose was to investigate manufacturers' and retailers' beliefs about what consumers want from textile products, and what is important to consumers when purchasing textile products. Participants consisted of 153 Texas manufacturers and U.S. retailers; overall, the response rate was 18%. A self-administered, mail questionnaire was developed for the study that elicited general company and demographic information as well as information regarding knowledge of products made from cotton, mohair, and wool, beliefs about what consumers want from products made from textiles, beliefs about what is important to consumers when purchasing textile products, and demographic information. Overall findings indicated high levels of knowledge about the characteristics and care of products, in general, made from cotton, varying levels of knowledge about wool, and low levels of knowledge about mohair. Knowledge of cotton, mohair, and wool seemed to mirror usage levels for both manufacturers and retailers. Between groups, retailers had high levels of knowledge of cotton and wool. Overall, apparel retailers had higher levels of knowledge of the three natural fibers than the other three participant groups. The two most interesting significant differences surrounding statement agreements are related to the concept of wool being worn year round and the importance of the color of item to consumers. Apparel retailers were more likely to agree to the statement wool can be worn year round than the other groups. Apparel retailers and manufacturers were more likely to agree to the statement importance of color of the item than home furnishings retailers and manufacturers.