Definition of Calico

Fibre: Cotton

Weave: Plain - usually a low count.

Characteristics: Originated in Calicut, India, and is one of the oldest cottons. Rather coarse and light in weight, generally bleached or white. N.B. U.S. definition is very different A printed cotton cloth superior to percale. Pattern is printed on one side by discharge or resist printing. It is not always fast in colour. Sized for crispness but washes out and requires starch each time. Designs are often geometric in shape, but originally elaborate designs of birds, trees, and flowers. Inexpensive. Similar to percale. Very little on the market to-day, but the designs are still in use on other fabrics and sold as "calico print".

Uses: Housedresses, aprons, patchwork quilts. Calicoes were first imported into Europe from India during the Renaissance and have since been manufactured in both Europe and the United States. Calico was especially popular in America during the 19th century.

Derivation of Calico: Named after Culicut a city on the coast of Malabar, India.

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