During the great trade "boom" of 1905 there was a good deal of buying by exporters in advance of their indents because manufacturers continued to contract engagements which threatened to exclude dilatory buyers.
Some manufacturers devote themselves exclusively to the home trade, and some exclusively to foreign trade, but there is a large class with what may be called a margin of alternation, which serves to redress the balance as business in one or other of the sections is good or bad.
By far the majority of Lancashire manufacturers sell their goods as they come from the loom, or, as it is called, in the "grey state," but an increasing number now cultivate the trade in finished goods.
Some manufacturers now go to the shopkeeper, and this has made it difficult for the merchant with a limited capital and therefore a limited assortment to survive.
The great general houses such as Rylands's, Philips's and Watt's in Manchester, and Cook's and Pawson's in London, some of which are manufacturers to a minor degree, continue to flourish because under one roof they can supply all that the draper requires, and so enable him to economize in the time spent in buying and to save himself the trouble of attending to many accounts.