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Textile trading has a rich history in India. Over four thousand years ago, the people of India's Harrapan civilization in the Indus River Valley were weavers and spinners of cotton. Because of India's unique geographic position, many trade lines ran across the country and through the neighboring seas. The silk trade reached India in 140 BC via Tibet, while cotton exports to Nile civilizations date back to the 5th century. During the late 17th and 18th century, Indian cotton was exported to Western countries to meet the needs of European factories during the Industrial Revolution. Textile merchants used colorful labels, such as the one in this St. Frank piece, to market their bolts of fabric to overseas clientele.