“Documentary evidence says that from the 16th to 18th Century, there were 280 varieties of textiles in Tamil Nadu, and most of them were exported from the ports of the Coromandel Coast,” says Jeyaseela Stephen, director, Institute of Indo European Studies, France.
These textiles, popularly known as Real Madras Handkerchief (RMHK), were also named based on the place of origin or the design of the weaving. Though there were many weaving styles, it was the checked fabric that was most prominent among the goods traded. It was exported to South East Asian countries, and in the 18th Century, 14 ships loaded with textiles sourced from various parts of Tamil Nadu sailed from Madras to Manila. “Ships carrying textiles from Tamil Nadu went as far as Europe and Africa. The early RMHK found their way into the colours of the wrappers worn by the Kalabari tribes of Nigeria. And there is evidence that it was exported to China also,” he says....Read more
Source web page:The HIndu