Modern Asian Studies



Changes in Wool Production and Usage in Colonial India


Tirthankar Roy  a1
a1 Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, Pune

Abstract

The paper shows how production, marketing and uses of wool changed in colonial India (1858-1947). The changes involved location, products, people, and nature of the firm, and were induced by two circumstances, one arising from the raw material side, and the other from the consumption side. There were limitations on access to common grazing lands, a theme that takes us to those of herding, customary rights, and the economics of wool production. The economic character of weaving was bound with that of wool production. The nature of that bond changed in the colonial period. On the consumption side, imported garments altered tastes and introduced new standards. This latter process encouraged standardization, larger scale, and urban production, and in a more limited way diversification and technological change. Power-looms, hosiery, and worsted were the outcomes of the last process.