The Dutch were the first to charter an East India Company in 1597, followed by the English in 1600, the Danes in 1616 and the French, under Colbert, in 1664.
In the fall of 1685, a French diplomatic delegation with many gifts visited the King of Siam, Phra Narai. The following year three Siamese ambassadors came to Versailles also laden with presents, including textiles. It was the dress, garments of beautifully woven cotton stripes, of the diplomats that caught the fancy of the French court and they were soon imitated. Know as siamoises, these fabrics were first a mix of cotton and silk, later a linen warp with a cotton weft.