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Home > Main Library > History > Economic history > Economic History: Trade > Overseas trade > Trade with Europeans and the East India Companies > Dutch trade > The VOC in Burma: 1634-1680 > The VOC's trade in Indian Textiles with Burma: 1634-1680

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The VOC's trade in Indian Textiles with Burma: 1634-1680

Individual Documents

Title: Dutch trade in Indian textiles with Burma: 1634-1680
Date of publication: August 2002
Description/subject: "The VOC’s seventeenth century trade with Burma is a heretofore little known aspect of the Dutch East India Company’s inter-Asian commerce. Their Burma trade was based on Indian textiles, particularly the cheaper, coarser varieties from the Choromandel Coast much favoured by the commoner people who could well afford an occasional length of imported Indian cloth, as indicated by newly available data. =========== The demand for the products of Indian looms was enormous, almost from time immemorial, or so it seems. There were piece goods as well as articles of apparel, such as lungis, shawls cummerbunds and turbans. Indian cloth was skilfully woven and coloured in dyes that were fast to washing. Some had a fabulous lustre polished to a sheen. These high quality textiles were much sought after and had been traded for centuries throughout Asia and beyond. Most came in a wide range, from super fine to very coarse. The wealthy coveted fabrics of a delicate softness with complex patterns or trimmed with decorative gold designs, while the common folk were happy enough with coarser cloth for daily wear. The Dutch stumbled upon this ancient inter-Asian trade quite by accident. They had made their way from Holland to the distant “Spice Islands” merely to discover that the spices they wanted could only be had in exchange for Indian cotton textiles, particularly from Choromandel. Arriving on India’s east coast, the Dutch chanced upon the highly lucrative, textile-based trade across the Bay of Bengal to countries such as Burma..."
Author/creator: Wil O. Dijk
Language: English
Format/size: html (26K)
Date of entry/update: March 2003