Warp and Weft: Producing, Trading and Consuming Indian Textiles Across the Seas (First–Thirteenth Centuries CE)

  • Himanshu Prabha Ray
Part of the Palgrave Series in Indian Ocean World Studies book series (IOWS)


Historically India has been a producer and exporter of textiles across the Indian Ocean world. A cultivated version of cotton in South Asia—both Gossypium arborem (tree cotton) and G. herbaceum (short staple cotton)—is dated to the fifth millennium BCE in north–west India. The chapter starts with the consumption pattern of textiles in the ancient period in the Indian subcontinent and then traces the market for indigo-dyed patterned cloth across the seas. The chapter goes on to discuss transformations in the organization of trade networks in the ancient period and, finally, the multiple uses of cloth in the subcontinent. The broader issue relates to the role of textiles as a means of communication across the shared cultural ethos of the Indian Ocean.


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Himanshu Prabha Ray
    • 1
  1. 1.Ludwig Maximillian UniversityMunichGermany

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