This work examines a trade that covered the backs of sailors and
soldiers, that shirted labouring men and skirted working women,
that employed legions of needlewomen and supplied retailers with
new consumer wares. Garments, once bought, returned again to the
marketplace, circulating like a currency and bolstering demand. The
agents in this trade included military contractors for clothing,
female outworkers and dealers in used clothes. Each was affected by
a changing demand for new-styled 'luxuries' and necessities in
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