Why did the wool and silk producers in England protest against the import of Indian textiles in the early eighteenth century?
Indian textiles had long been renowned, both for their fine quality and exquisite craftsmanship. They were extensively traded in Southeast Asia and West and Central Asia. From the sixteenth century, European trading companies began buying Indian textiles for sale in Europe. There was quite a craze for Indian cotton textiles in England and Europe, mainly for their exquisite floral designs, fine texture and relative cheapness.
By the early eighteenth century, worried by the popularity of Indian textiles, the wool and silk makers in England began protesting against the import of Indian cotton textiles. At this time, the textile industries had just begun to develop in England. Unable to compete with Indian textiles, English producers wanted a secure market within the country by preventing the entry of Indian textiles.