Calico in Early Commerce

Centuries before European traders disembarked in India, a wide range of Indian calicos, including painted or printed ones called chintes, were carried by Arab traders to Turkey, the Levant, and North Africa as well as Southeast Asia. Through their Mediterranean trade connections, wealthy Europeans had enjoyed imported spices and Indian quilted silks. They knew—or desired—little of the cottons, although Armenian entrepreneurs managed a calico trade along with spices and silks.

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