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Show RCA 2019

Aditi Khare

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Prejudiced Commodities: Understanding Knowledge Transfer Between India and Britain through Printed and Painted Calicoes, 1720–80

The eighteenth century saw Britain transition from a consumer market captivated by the novelty of printed and painted calicoes (cotton fabrics) to a leading producer and exporter to the world. My MA dissertation focused on the transfer of useful manufacturing knowledge that was responsible for the chemical developments in the British calico printing industry and its origins in trade with India. The transfer of knowledge was analysed from two separate perspectives: the accumulation of knowledge by traders and travellers in India, and the evolution of this knowledge through centralised systems in Europe. It challenged perceptions of useful and trading knowledge and their contribution to the calico printing industry.


  • I am a trained textile designer and design historian, specifically interested in the early modern global textile networks. I specialise in material histories of Indian textiles and their global presence throughout history. Currently I am working towards developing a career in academia and design research through a prospective PhD on the subject of the Indian textile industry in the early colonial period.

  • Previous degrees

  • B. Design, Textile Design, National Institute of Design, India, 2015.
  • Experiences

  • Social Media Consultant, Research Collective for Decolonising Fashion, 2018; Chief Editor, Unmaking things, London, 2018; Textile Designer, Label Ritu Kumar, New Delhi, 2016–17; Textile Designer, Anhad, New Delhi, 2015
  • Exhibitions

  • Interactive Object Histories, Royal College of Art, London, 2018
  • Conferences

  • Troubling Histories: Collections and Collecting in Museums, Victoria and Albert Museum, September 2018
Royal College of Art