Piece goods were the textile materials sold in cut pieces as per the buyer's specification. The piece goods were either cut from a fabric roll or produced with a certain length, also called yard goods. Various textiles such as cotton, wool, silk, etc., were traded in terms of piece goods. The prices were determined as per the fabric quality.
Many Indian clothes were ready to wear after leaving the loom. These were simple pieces of cloth of dimensions suited to the purposes. Lungi, Dhoti, and Sari are few specific examples of drape clothes. Other cloths produced according to specified dimensions are:
- Longcloth made at Coromandel Coast was of the length of 37 yards.
- Qutni at Damascus was weaved as per market specified dimensions; for example, Length 6.13 meters width 0.7 meters was for Syria, Baghdad and Constantinople, Smyrna, and Persia. But for Egypt, the length was slightly more, i.e., 6.83 with the same width.
- Chautar an old muslin has been recorded with specific dimensions, i.e., length 12.44 meters and width 77.75 centimeters. Chautar was compared with sansuo, which was a three shuttle cloth, type of fine cotton variety produced at Songjiang.
- Tasar, a silk and cotton cloth used for lining in quilts from Bengal was produced with 14 yards of length and 1.5 yards width.
- Alachas were 5 yards long.
- A type of Gulbadan (silk cloth), Sohren Gulbadan was with 36 feet long and 1 foot and 4 inches wide.
- Salampore was 16X1 yards.
Textile piece goods have been sold globally in many varieties, including grey, bleached, or dyed and prints. And the practice is still being followed by many buyers. The knitted fabric is traded by weight also.
Historically drapers and cloth merchants were trading in piece goods. India was famous for its handloom cotton piece goods. Many fabrics of coarse to fine cotton qualities such as Baftas, calicos, and muslins were used to be exported during the Mughal era.
There are records stating that in 1664 the East India Company imported 273,746 pieces of cotton cloth from India (approximately 4.2 million sq. meters). This increasing trend finally peaked in 1684 at 1,760,315 pieces (or 26.9 million sq. meters).Woolen and silk piece goods were also traded.Woollen piece goods for example shawls were exported from Kashmir.
The exports were continued until the British cloths emerged in the 19th century.
Several textile piece goods are still traded with different HS codes to differentiate the weave, structure, and composition. For example, HS code 51123030 stands for hundred percent wool, and 58109100 is for woven dyed cotton with embroidery piece goods. The Harmonized System, or ‘HS,’ is an identification code developed by the World Customs Organization (WCO).
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- FOUND INSIDE – PAGE 222 ''Sohrén gulbadan is made in pieces 36 feet long by 1 foot 4 inches wide . The ground is scarlet with thin yellow and green lines . It is made either of silk or cotton , and is in common use for shirts and trousers among the women of all classes ...'' Baluchistan District Gazetteer Series - Volume 6 - Page 222books.google.co.in › books Baluchistan (Pakistan) · 1907
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