Aleppo: Cotton Weavers

Date: 1750s-1770s

Vast numbers of people were employed in the weaving of cotton, with looms being located in large factories as well as in private houses. The cotton thread was spun largely by women. See also: Weaver of Wool; Weaver of Silk; Dyer; Spinner.

Citation: Russell, Alexander. The Natural History of Aleppo, containing a Description of the City, and the principal natural Productions in its Neighbourhood. Together with an Account of the Climate, Inhabitants, and Diseases; particularly of the Plague, Second edition, revised, enlarged and illustrated by Patrick Russell (London: G. G. and J. Robinson, Pater-noster Row, 1794), I: pp. 161-62.

Aleppo: Cotton Weavers

Date: c. 1840

Sir John Bowring (d. 1872) claims that there were approximately 500 looms designated to weave cotton alone. These weavers made use of British cotton. This industry was in decline in Aleppo due to the lack of demand for costly cotton garments. The woven could be flowered and striped. Striped cotton was referred to as “Nankeens”. Bowring also finds that most weavers and spinners were Christians who earned decent wages. See also: Silk Weavers.

Citation: Bowring, John. Report on the Commercial Statistics of Syria (London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1840. Reprinted: New York: Arno Press, 1973), pp. 20-21, 83.

Aleppo: Cotton Weavers

Date: 1934

In 1934 the city of Aleppo is recorded as having 700 handlooms devoted to the production of cotton textiles. This represented 10% of the total number of looms in the city. 41,650 pieces of pure cotton were produced in 1933. Figures are also available for the number of handlooms for cotton earlier in the twentieth century (1909 = 5,500; 1913 = 14,250; 1926 = 3,400; 1927 = 3,950; 1928 = 3,400), indicating a decline after World War I. See also: Lace Maker; Silk Weaver; Wool Weaver.

Citation: Hakim, George, “Industry”, in Himadeh, Saʿid B., ed., Economic Organization of Syria (Beirut: The American Press, 1936. Reprinted New York: AMS Press, 1973, pp. 148-49, tables XII and XIII.