Global Textile Trades

by Gayle Strege


October 2011 – February 2012

Trade is one of those English words with many meanings. It can be a verb as in “to make an exchange” or “to buy and sell.” As a noun trade can indicate a skill or craft, or it can refer to an entire industry such as when the fashion industry is referred to as “the rag trade.”

Global Textile Trades explores all these aspects of trade from the craft of creating cloth from fibers and yarns to the skill of decorating that cloth through patterns of weaving, dyeing and embroidery techniques. Trade as exchange happens not only in the buying and selling of goods, but also in the exchange of cultural aesthetics and ideas. The international trade in textile products over the past several hundred years is evident in Indian influence in the textiles of Southeast Asia and Europe, and European influence in the textiles of Asia and Africa.

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