NCERT Textbook - Weavers, Iron Smelters and Factory Owners Class 8 Notes | EduRev

Social Studies (SST) Class 8

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Class 8 : NCERT Textbook - Weavers, Iron Smelters and Factory Owners Class 8 Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


79
Weavers, Iron Smelters and
Factory Owners
7
Fig. 1 – Trading ships on the port of Surat in the seventeenth century
Surat in Gujarat on the west coast of India was one of the most important ports of
the Indian Ocean trade. Dutch and English trading ships began using the port from the
early seventeenth century. Its importance declined in the eighteenth century.
This chapter tells the story of the crafts and industries of India during
British rule by focusing on two industries, namely, textiles and
iron and steel. Both these industries were crucial for the industrial
revolution in the modern world. Mechanised production of cotton
textiles made Britain the foremost industrial nation in the nineteenth
century. And when its iron and steel industry started growing from
the 1850s, Britain came to be known as the “workshop of the world”.
The industrialisation of Britain had a close connection with the
conquest and colonisation of India. You have seen (Chapter 2) how
the English East India Company’s interest in trade led to occupation
of territory, and how the pattern of trade changed over the decades.
In the late eighteenth century the Company was buying goods in India
and exporting them to England and Europe, making profit through
this sale. With the growth of industrial production, British
industrialists began to see India as a vast market for their industrial
products, and over time manufactured goods from Britain began
flooding India. How did this affect Indian crafts and industries?
This is the question we will explore in this chapter.
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 2


79
Weavers, Iron Smelters and
Factory Owners
7
Fig. 1 – Trading ships on the port of Surat in the seventeenth century
Surat in Gujarat on the west coast of India was one of the most important ports of
the Indian Ocean trade. Dutch and English trading ships began using the port from the
early seventeenth century. Its importance declined in the eighteenth century.
This chapter tells the story of the crafts and industries of India during
British rule by focusing on two industries, namely, textiles and
iron and steel. Both these industries were crucial for the industrial
revolution in the modern world. Mechanised production of cotton
textiles made Britain the foremost industrial nation in the nineteenth
century. And when its iron and steel industry started growing from
the 1850s, Britain came to be known as the “workshop of the world”.
The industrialisation of Britain had a close connection with the
conquest and colonisation of India. You have seen (Chapter 2) how
the English East India Company’s interest in trade led to occupation
of territory, and how the pattern of trade changed over the decades.
In the late eighteenth century the Company was buying goods in India
and exporting them to England and Europe, making profit through
this sale. With the growth of industrial production, British
industrialists began to see India as a vast market for their industrial
products, and over time manufactured goods from Britain began
flooding India. How did this affect Indian crafts and industries?
This is the question we will explore in this chapter.
© NCERT
not to be republished
OUR PASTS – III 80
Fig. 2 – Patola weave,
mid-nineteenth century
Patola was woven in Surat,
Ahmedabad and Patan. Highly
valued in Indonesia, it became
part of the local weaving
tradition there.
Indian Textiles and the World Market
Let us first look at textile production.
Around 1750, before the
British conquered Bengal, India
was by far the world’s largest
producer of cotton textiles. Indian
textiles had long been renowned
both for their fine quality and
exquisite craftsmanship. They
were extensively traded in
Southeast Asia (Java, Sumatra
and Penang) and West and
Central Asia. From the sixteenth
century European trading
companies began buying Indian
textiles for sale in Europe.
Memories of this flourishing
trade and the craftsmanship of
Indian weavers is preserved in
many words still current in
English and other languages. It
is interesting to trace the origin of such words, and see
what they tell us.
Words tell us histories
European traders first encountered fine cotton cloth
from India carried by Arab merchants in Mosul in
present-day Iraq. So they began referring to all finely
woven textiles as “muslin” – a word that acquired wide
currency. When the Portuguese first came to India in
search of spices they landed in Calicut on the Kerala
coast in south-west India. The cotton textiles which
they took back to Europe, along with the spices, came
to be called “calico” (derived from Calicut), and
subsequently calico became the general name for all
cotton textiles.
There are many other words which point to the
popularity of Indian textiles in Western markets. In
Fig. 3 you can see a page of an order book that the
English East India Company sent to its representatives
in Calcutta in 1730.
The order that year was for 5,89,000 pieces of cloth.
Browsing through the order book you would have seen
a list of 98 varieties of cotton and silk cloths. These
were known by their common name in the European
trade as piece goods – usually woven cloth pieces that
were 20 yards long  and 1 yard wide.
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 3


79
Weavers, Iron Smelters and
Factory Owners
7
Fig. 1 – Trading ships on the port of Surat in the seventeenth century
Surat in Gujarat on the west coast of India was one of the most important ports of
the Indian Ocean trade. Dutch and English trading ships began using the port from the
early seventeenth century. Its importance declined in the eighteenth century.
This chapter tells the story of the crafts and industries of India during
British rule by focusing on two industries, namely, textiles and
iron and steel. Both these industries were crucial for the industrial
revolution in the modern world. Mechanised production of cotton
textiles made Britain the foremost industrial nation in the nineteenth
century. And when its iron and steel industry started growing from
the 1850s, Britain came to be known as the “workshop of the world”.
The industrialisation of Britain had a close connection with the
conquest and colonisation of India. You have seen (Chapter 2) how
the English East India Company’s interest in trade led to occupation
of territory, and how the pattern of trade changed over the decades.
In the late eighteenth century the Company was buying goods in India
and exporting them to England and Europe, making profit through
this sale. With the growth of industrial production, British
industrialists began to see India as a vast market for their industrial
products, and over time manufactured goods from Britain began
flooding India. How did this affect Indian crafts and industries?
This is the question we will explore in this chapter.
© NCERT
not to be republished
OUR PASTS – III 80
Fig. 2 – Patola weave,
mid-nineteenth century
Patola was woven in Surat,
Ahmedabad and Patan. Highly
valued in Indonesia, it became
part of the local weaving
tradition there.
Indian Textiles and the World Market
Let us first look at textile production.
Around 1750, before the
British conquered Bengal, India
was by far the world’s largest
producer of cotton textiles. Indian
textiles had long been renowned
both for their fine quality and
exquisite craftsmanship. They
were extensively traded in
Southeast Asia (Java, Sumatra
and Penang) and West and
Central Asia. From the sixteenth
century European trading
companies began buying Indian
textiles for sale in Europe.
Memories of this flourishing
trade and the craftsmanship of
Indian weavers is preserved in
many words still current in
English and other languages. It
is interesting to trace the origin of such words, and see
what they tell us.
Words tell us histories
European traders first encountered fine cotton cloth
from India carried by Arab merchants in Mosul in
present-day Iraq. So they began referring to all finely
woven textiles as “muslin” – a word that acquired wide
currency. When the Portuguese first came to India in
search of spices they landed in Calicut on the Kerala
coast in south-west India. The cotton textiles which
they took back to Europe, along with the spices, came
to be called “calico” (derived from Calicut), and
subsequently calico became the general name for all
cotton textiles.
There are many other words which point to the
popularity of Indian textiles in Western markets. In
Fig. 3 you can see a page of an order book that the
English East India Company sent to its representatives
in Calcutta in 1730.
The order that year was for 5,89,000 pieces of cloth.
Browsing through the order book you would have seen
a list of 98 varieties of cotton and silk cloths. These
were known by their common name in the European
trade as piece goods – usually woven cloth pieces that
were 20 yards long  and 1 yard wide.
© NCERT
not to be republished
81 WEAVERS, IRON SMELTERS AND FACTORY OWNERS
Fig. 3 – A page from an order
book of the East India Company,
1730
Notice how each item in the
order book was carefully priced
in London. These orders had to
be placed two years in advance
because this was the time
required to send orders to India,
get the specific cloths woven and
shipped to Britain. Once the cloth
pieces arrived in London they
were put up for auction and sold.
Now look at the names of the different varieties of
cloth in the book. Amongst the pieces ordered in bulk
were printed cotton cloths called chintz, cossaes (or
khassa) and bandanna. Do you know where the English
term chintz comes from? It is derived from the Hindi
word chhint, a cloth with small and colourful flowery
designs. From the 1680s there started a craze for printed
Indian cotton textiles in England and Europe mainly
for their exquisite floral designs, fine texture and
relative cheapness. Rich people of England including
the Queen herself wore clothes of Indian fabric.
Similarly, the word bandanna now refers to any
brightly coloured and printed scarf for the neck or
head. Originally, the term derived from the word
Fig. 4 –  Jamdani weave, early
twentieth century
Jamdani is a fine muslin on
which decorative motifs are
woven on the loom, typically in
grey and white. Often a mixture
of cotton and gold thread was
used, as in the cloth in this
picture. The most important
centres of jamdani weaving were
Dacca in Bengal and Lucknow
in the United Provinces.
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 4


79
Weavers, Iron Smelters and
Factory Owners
7
Fig. 1 – Trading ships on the port of Surat in the seventeenth century
Surat in Gujarat on the west coast of India was one of the most important ports of
the Indian Ocean trade. Dutch and English trading ships began using the port from the
early seventeenth century. Its importance declined in the eighteenth century.
This chapter tells the story of the crafts and industries of India during
British rule by focusing on two industries, namely, textiles and
iron and steel. Both these industries were crucial for the industrial
revolution in the modern world. Mechanised production of cotton
textiles made Britain the foremost industrial nation in the nineteenth
century. And when its iron and steel industry started growing from
the 1850s, Britain came to be known as the “workshop of the world”.
The industrialisation of Britain had a close connection with the
conquest and colonisation of India. You have seen (Chapter 2) how
the English East India Company’s interest in trade led to occupation
of territory, and how the pattern of trade changed over the decades.
In the late eighteenth century the Company was buying goods in India
and exporting them to England and Europe, making profit through
this sale. With the growth of industrial production, British
industrialists began to see India as a vast market for their industrial
products, and over time manufactured goods from Britain began
flooding India. How did this affect Indian crafts and industries?
This is the question we will explore in this chapter.
© NCERT
not to be republished
OUR PASTS – III 80
Fig. 2 – Patola weave,
mid-nineteenth century
Patola was woven in Surat,
Ahmedabad and Patan. Highly
valued in Indonesia, it became
part of the local weaving
tradition there.
Indian Textiles and the World Market
Let us first look at textile production.
Around 1750, before the
British conquered Bengal, India
was by far the world’s largest
producer of cotton textiles. Indian
textiles had long been renowned
both for their fine quality and
exquisite craftsmanship. They
were extensively traded in
Southeast Asia (Java, Sumatra
and Penang) and West and
Central Asia. From the sixteenth
century European trading
companies began buying Indian
textiles for sale in Europe.
Memories of this flourishing
trade and the craftsmanship of
Indian weavers is preserved in
many words still current in
English and other languages. It
is interesting to trace the origin of such words, and see
what they tell us.
Words tell us histories
European traders first encountered fine cotton cloth
from India carried by Arab merchants in Mosul in
present-day Iraq. So they began referring to all finely
woven textiles as “muslin” – a word that acquired wide
currency. When the Portuguese first came to India in
search of spices they landed in Calicut on the Kerala
coast in south-west India. The cotton textiles which
they took back to Europe, along with the spices, came
to be called “calico” (derived from Calicut), and
subsequently calico became the general name for all
cotton textiles.
There are many other words which point to the
popularity of Indian textiles in Western markets. In
Fig. 3 you can see a page of an order book that the
English East India Company sent to its representatives
in Calcutta in 1730.
The order that year was for 5,89,000 pieces of cloth.
Browsing through the order book you would have seen
a list of 98 varieties of cotton and silk cloths. These
were known by their common name in the European
trade as piece goods – usually woven cloth pieces that
were 20 yards long  and 1 yard wide.
© NCERT
not to be republished
81 WEAVERS, IRON SMELTERS AND FACTORY OWNERS
Fig. 3 – A page from an order
book of the East India Company,
1730
Notice how each item in the
order book was carefully priced
in London. These orders had to
be placed two years in advance
because this was the time
required to send orders to India,
get the specific cloths woven and
shipped to Britain. Once the cloth
pieces arrived in London they
were put up for auction and sold.
Now look at the names of the different varieties of
cloth in the book. Amongst the pieces ordered in bulk
were printed cotton cloths called chintz, cossaes (or
khassa) and bandanna. Do you know where the English
term chintz comes from? It is derived from the Hindi
word chhint, a cloth with small and colourful flowery
designs. From the 1680s there started a craze for printed
Indian cotton textiles in England and Europe mainly
for their exquisite floral designs, fine texture and
relative cheapness. Rich people of England including
the Queen herself wore clothes of Indian fabric.
Similarly, the word bandanna now refers to any
brightly coloured and printed scarf for the neck or
head. Originally, the term derived from the word
Fig. 4 –  Jamdani weave, early
twentieth century
Jamdani is a fine muslin on
which decorative motifs are
woven on the loom, typically in
grey and white. Often a mixture
of cotton and gold thread was
used, as in the cloth in this
picture. The most important
centres of jamdani weaving were
Dacca in Bengal and Lucknow
in the United Provinces.
© NCERT
not to be republished
OUR PASTS – III 82
Fig. 5 – Printed design on fine
cloth (chintz) produced in
Masulipatnam, Andhra Pradesh,
mid-nineteenth century
This is a fine example of the
type of chintz produced for
export to Iran and Europe.
Fig. 6 – Bandanna design, early
twentieth century
Notice the line that runs through
the middle. Do you know why?
In this odhni, two tie-and-dye
silk pieces are seamed together
with gold thread embroidery.
Bandanna patterns were mostly
produced in Rajasthan and
Gujarat.
“bandhna” (Hindi for tying), and referred to a variety
of brightly coloured cloth produced through a method
of tying and dying.
There were other cloths in the order book that were
noted by their place of origin: Kasimbazar, Patna, Calcutta,
Orissa, Charpoore. The widespread use of such words
shows how popular Indian textiles had become in
different parts of the world.
© NCERT
not to be republished
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