Silk in Bengal

  • Indrajit Ray
Living reference work entry

Silk manufacturing is an important facet of industrial heritage in Bengal. The high profile of this industry is confirmed in many European travelogues during the late medieval and the early modern periods. They narrated how the province fed different markets in the Indian continent – and even beyond – with decorative pieces of silk cloth. Village establishments, such as Cassembazar, might have turned out more than two million bales of silk a year. Working on low technology and capital, village artisans in Bengal designed their own implements and organized production at their huts. They left the distant sales of their fancy outputs to the trading communities like the Marwaris and the Parsis, who created their markets at Surat, Delhi, Lahore, and Agra. Later on, they were sold to the Portuguese, the Dutch, and the English, who sold them at European outlets. In 1703–1708, the English East India Company annually exported about 162,000 lbs of raw silk and 28,000 pieces of silk fabrics from...


Silk Fiber Silk Cloth East India Company Mulberry Leaf Warp Thread 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of CommerceUniversity of North Bengal (on lien)DarjeelingIndia
  2. 2.Cooch Behar Panchanan Barma UniversityCooch BeharIndia