Labels of Empire: Textile Trademarks - Windows Into India in the Time of the Raj (Hardcover)

Labels of Empire: Textile Trademarks - Windows Into India in the Time of the Raj By Susan Meller Cover Image

Labels of Empire: Textile Trademarks - Windows Into India in the Time of the Raj (Hardcover)

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It was said that at one time Great Britain clothed the world. In the 1880s, when the British textile industry was at its most prosperous to date, much of the world's population wore clothing made from fabric produced in the mills of Lancashire. From 1910 to 1913 alone, seven billion yards of cloth were folded, stamped, labeled, and baled. Most of this output was for export--with 40 percent of it shipped to India.

To differentiate their goods, British textile manufacturers pasted illustrated paper labels known as "shipper's tickets" to the faceplate of each piece of folded cloth sold into the competitive Indian market. Designed to appeal to the local people, printed and registered in Manchester, these brightly colored images further helped to establish a company's brand. Hindu gods, native animals, scenes from the great Indian epics--the Mahabharata and Ramayana--and views of everyday life were common subjects. In a sense a form of premium, they provided the consumer with an additional incentive to buy the goods of a particular firm.

With 1,258 color illustrations organized by subject, from "Gods and Goddesses" to "Swaraj and Swadeshi," Labels of Empire begins with the late 19th-century heyday of British textile manufacturing and closes with Indian independence in 1947. By combining visual narrative, magical realism, popular culture, and history in a way never done before, this book gives an unprecedented view of the British textile industry during the time of the Raj--and its remarkably successful use of paper labels as trademarks.
Product Details ISBN: 9781954081253
ISBN-10: 1954081251
Publisher: Goff Books
Publication Date: May 16th, 2023
Pages: 544
Language: English