chapter  II
The Increased Use of Indian Textiles in England
WithP.J. Thomas
Pages 23

Towards the middle of the seventeenth century, there was a remarkable change in the fashions of men’s and women’s clothes in England. The cotton industry of India is astoundingly ancient. Indian cloth was known to, and used by, the Egyptians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans and other civilised peoples of antiquity. There are various ingenious ways of testing the excellence of muslins. Even a long piece twenty yards long and one yard wide is expected to pass through a wedding ring. Another method of testing muslin is by taking its weight. When trade relations were first established between England and India, cotton and silk goods did not figure prominently in the import trade. From about 1670, however, Indian calicoes and silks were imported into England in larger quantities. The frequent changings and shiftings of fashion during the period under review can be traced in detail through the despatches of the Directors to the Indian “factories”.