Cotton: The Fabric that Made the Modern World

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Cambridge University Press, Apr 11, 2013 - Business & Economics - 407 pages
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Today's world textile and garment trade is valued at a staggering $425 billion. We are told that under the pressure of increasing globalisation, it is India and China that are the new world manufacturing powerhouses. However, this is not a new phenomenon: until the industrial revolution, Asia manufactured great quantities of colourful printed cottons that were sold to places as far afield as Japan, West Africa and Europe. Cotton explores this earlier globalised economy and its transformation after 1750 as cotton led the way in the industrialisation of Europe. By the early nineteenth century, India, China and the Ottoman Empire switched from world producers to buyers of European cotton textiles, a position that they retained for over two hundred years. This is a fascinating and insightful story which ranges from Asian and European technologies and African slavery to cotton plantations in the Americas and consumer desires across the globe.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - suniru - LibraryThing

Overall, an interesting read. The author has used cotton and cotton fabric to illustrate a period of global modernization. I was a little disappointed that, as the title might suggest, that the book ... Read full review

Cotton: The Fabric That Made the Modern World

User Review  - Book Verdict

Riello (history, Univ. of Warwick, UK; A Foot in the Past: Consumers, Producers and Footwear in the Long Eighteenth Century) examines in impressive detail how cotton became the first truly global ... Read full review


global cotton and global history I
circa 15001750
cotton and European industrialisation
the potential of cotton
the West and the new cotton system
from system to system from divergence to convergence
Europeans trading in Indian cottons 87
hoW cottons entered European houses
cottons in the Atlantic world 135
printing cotton textiles in Europe

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About the author (2013)

Giorgio Riello is Professor of Global History at the University of Warwick and a member of Warwick's Global History and Culture Centre. He is the author of A Foot in the Past (2006) and has co-edited several books including The Spinning World (2009), How India Clothed the World (2009) and Global Design History (2011). In 2009 he received the Newcomen Prize in Business History, and in 2010 he was awarded the Philip Leverhulme Prize.

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