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The French Connection: Indian Cottons And Their Early Modern Technology

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the comparative superiority of Indian cotton technology in the early modern period by isolating one example of Indian cotton textile production and comparing it with a contemporaneous and an equivalent cotton textile produced in Europe. The chapter discusses how, for what reasons and which aspects of Indian cotton textile production technology were investigated by the French. It seeks to establish whether and by what means, the knowledge that the French acquired was diff used and incorporated into their production methods. The chapter concentrates on the Roques report and western Indian cotton textile production and techniques for wood-block printed chintz. Aluminous mordant dyeing was and is possible without alum through the use of materials of vegetable origin, bark and leaves, which possess the chemical properties to fast colour to fabric. The principal red dyes that were commercialized globally were from insects, vegetables, trees or their resins.

Keywords: Aluminous mordant dyeing; Europe; French; Indian cotton technology; Indian cotton textile; red dyes; Roques report; wood-block printed chintz



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