The Textile Manufactures of India is an 18 volume set of fabric sample books put together in 1866 by John Forbes Watson and published by the India Office of the British Government.
Now all 700 textile samples in these books are available to explore digitally for the first time on-line. You can browse through the fabrics by volume, or you can search according to categories such as material, object type, pattern, decorative technique or use. There is also an index of technical terms and an advanced search function. Thanks to the wonderful young people from Lancashire who have catalogued, photographed and helped design the content. Their website is part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad programme Stories of the World. Click here to visit.
The Textile Manufactures of India is also the inspiration for a ground-breaking exhibition at the Harris Museum & Art Gallery – Global Threads: Asian Textiles & Fashion Today (14 May 2011 to 30 June 2012), which is also co-curated by young people and part of Stories of the World