Textiles from India

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    At this time, the East India Company, Britain's powerful trading company, was bringing great quantities of textiles from India to Europe. These textiles were inexpensive to produce, and so great profits were made. This image shows a cloth merchant in India selling chintz. Chintz was popular in England as a dress and furnishing fabric, and was cheap enough for the emerging middle classes to afford. In India, the Company engaged Indian brokers who were paid a fixed percentage to manage contracts with the local craftsmen. The craftsmen were often exploited while the brokers and Company grew rich on their skills. 

     

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