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The Spinning World

Cotton textiles were the first good to achieve a truly global reach. For many centuries muslins and calicoes from the Indian subcontinent were demanded in the trading worlds of the Indian Ocean and the eastern Mediterranean. After 1500, new circuits of exchange were developed. Of these, the early-modern European craze for Indian calicoes and the huge nineteenth-century export trade in Lancashire goods, and subsequent deindustrialization of the Indian subcontinent, are merely the best known. These episodes, although of great importance, far from exhaust the story of cotton. They are well known because of the enormous research energy that has been devoted to them, but other important elements of cotton's long history are deserving of similar attention. The purpose of this collection of essays is to examine the history of cotton textiles at a global level over the period 1200-1850. This volume sheds light on new answers to two questions: what is it about cotton that made it the paradigmatic first global commodity? And second, why did cotton industries in different parts of the world follow different paths of development? Essays included in the volume are authored by 19 scholars from eight different nations, all of whom are specialists in the study of textiles. They are drawn from a range of sub-disciplines within history and bring together their areas and periods of specialization to provide a global history. Therefore, the volume covers a wide variety of approaches to the study of history, which is essential for constructing a global picture. Some of the contributors are internationally well known for their publications on the history of cotton, as well as other textiles in different world areas. The volume also draws upon the research of a number of younger scholars whose work will form the core of the future development of textile history as a global discipline.
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Table of Contents

Introduction: Cotton Textiles in Global History ; PART I. WORLD AREAS OF COTTON TEXTILE MANUFACTURING ; 1. Cotton Textiles in the Indian Subcontinent, 1200-1800 ; 2. The Resistant Fibre: Cotton Textiles in Imperial China ; 3. The First European Cotton Industry: Italy and Germany, 1100-1800 ; 4. Ottoman Cotton Textiles: The Story of a Success that did not Last, 1500-1800 ; 5. 'Guinea Cloth': Cotton Textiles in West Africa before and during the Atlantic Slave Trade ; 6. The Production of Cotton Textiles in Early Modern Southeast Asia ; PART II. GLOBAL TRADE AND CONSUMPTION OF COTTON TEXTILES ; 7. Indian Textiles in the Indian Ocean in the Early Modern Period ; 8. Awash in a Sea of Cloth: South Asian Merchants, Cloth and Consumption in the Indian Ocean, 1300-1800 ; 9. Japan Indianised: The Material Culture of Imported Textiles in Japan, 1550-1850 ; 10. Revising the Historical Narrative: India, Europe and the Cotton Trade ; 11. Cottons Consumption in the Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century North Atlantic ; 12. Fashion, Race and Cotton Textiles in Colonial Spanish America ; 13. The Globalization of Cotton Textiles: Indian Cottons, Europe and the Atlantic World, 1600-1850 ; PART III. COTTON REVOLUTIONS AND THEIR CONSEQUENCES IN EUROPE AND ASIA ; 14. The Birth of a New European Industry: L'Indiennage in Seventeenth-Century Marseilles ; 15. What were Cottons for in the Industrial Revolution? ; 16. The Limits of Wool and the Potential of Cotton in the Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries ; 17. The Geopolitics of a Global Industry: Eurasian Divergence and the Mechanisation of Cotton Textile Production in England ; 18. Cotton and the Peasant Economy: A Foreign Fibre in Early Modern Japan ; 19. Involution and Chinese Cotton Textile Production: Songjiang in the Late-Eighteenth and Early-Nineteenth Centuries ; 20. Decline in Three Keys: Indian Cotton Manufacturing from the Late Eighteenth Century


...a collection of essays of high factual value and close scrutiny of process, its revisionism lying in its world-ranging approach to a subject which has largely been viewed from a Western perspective. * Jane Jakeman, Times Literary Supplement * Review from previous edition A must-have for any academic libraryand a required resource for any textile historian. * The Textile Society *

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