Sunday, 29 January 2012

Lecture- Trade between East and West

Textiles and worldwide Trade, 1600-1900                      18.11.11

Typical things we thought were english turn out to have a rather different background. British tea in china mugs, chintz curtains all imported from China so its not very british yet its made to think its a british past time. Without Indian Textiles , British textiles would be very different today and it may not even exist if it wasnt for them. A quote, 'Where is wisdom to be found, and where is the place of understanding'. Importers where looking for things better then wisdom to bring back with them, they found gold, silver and Indian Textiles. However it had to the be the current fashion in Indian cloth, if the importer was late getting the island to collect his shipping, whethe rit was due to wind or rough seas, if he was late then the good textiles, the textiles with the current cloth, material the current patterens and colours would have gone and he would have to find replacements of the same high standards as otherwise the companies back in Britain would realize its a different material even if the colours look the same and not accept it. This was bad then the importer couldnt pay his shipping bills all because he wasnt in time to collect the highest quailty material.
The term Chintz we have grown to understand is a word for a patteren thats on carpets and sofas,but actually its a printing technique. The Japenesse word for 'Chintz' is 'Sarasa'. In the 1620's Chintz was very popular in england as a patteren for dress and furnishing fabrics. 50,000 pieces of Chintz, huge pieces, were imported to england, it was very popular with the middle class as they could afford it.
However in 1700 there was a ban on the sale of chintz in england, then in 1720 there was a ban on the use of chintz, as britain wanted peolpe to only use wool as it was british and not imported fabric. Then in 1742 as new technique was developed in england called 'China Blue', it was a very expensive and complex technique.
In 1800 it all changed again as 'neoclassical' styles of dress and interiors based on acient greece and rome became very fashionable in europe. A new fashion was that peolpe wore white dresses, with no selves in winter in france, for this you needed indian textiles as it was the best muslin you could find.
In 1800 britian overtakes india as major world exporter of printed cotton and cloth, as we had a huge cotton factory in Manchester.
The paisley patteren is actually called botwe and is from india.


We went to go and visit the V&A to look to look at indian and other textiles. There were alot of chintz patterens which looked very british with the light colours, Clare made us guess if they were bristish or not as they all turned out to be Japenesse. If you looked at it after you knew it was clear that it is actually international textiles and not british. We looked at other textiles, mainly indian textiles and the patterens. We also looked at tippoos tiger, which was a toy made for the prince in indian, which was a musical intrusment and it even roared like a tiger would. It was fasincating.

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