Eric Hobsbawm famously wrote, 'Whoever says Industrial Revolution says cotton.' The modern history of cotton textile is well known, and cotton's contribution to industrialization processes around the world much appreciated. However, the medieval and early modern antecedents of this produce are far less clear, and so the purpose of this collection of essays is to explore the pre-modern history of cotton. To explore the nature of this history, and the importance of the Indian subcontinent, whose cotton goods traversed the world and which lay at the centre of a vast worldwide trading system, requires a global perspective, which the essays in this volume provide. Ranging from China and Japan, to Europe, the Ottoman Empire, South-East Asia, and East and West Africa, the essays explore the global exchange and use of cotton textiles in the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic worlds, as well as the impact of Indian cotton on local consumption and production systems. Taken together, they provide a wide-ranging picture of cotton cloth in the centuries between 1200 and 1850, as well as a framework which decenters Europe in the pre-modern global order.