6 Search Results for: calico, Muslin, gauze

Calico, muslin, gauze – a history of fabric terminology – Part 2

When I left you at the end of last week’s post on calico, muslin and gauze, ‘calico’ was a fashionable fabric imported from India, frequently patterned in large, open floral patterns called ‘chintz’ and most commonly having a pale white or cream background. It looked like this: 1785-1795 Robe a la Anglaise, collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (incidentally, the original robe is shown over a modern reproduction of a petticoat, made of what North American’s would call muslin, and the British and Antipodeans would call calico) Or this: Round gown, 1795-1799, collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum The one constant thing about fashion though, is it’s inconstancy. The large ‘bizarre’ prints of the early 18th century gave way to the open, delicate, rococo florals seen above, and soon these would give way to a new fashion on patterns. From the end of the 18th century onwards, patterns became smaller, closer together, and more regular. 1797-1798 calico gown sprinkled with allover floral pattern. Collection of the Met The fashion for patterns of white …

Calico, muslin, gauze – a history of fabric terminology – Part I

I’ve been promising Joie de Vivre a post on the history of calico and muslin, and why the same fabric is called by different names in different parts of the world. Calico, but not as we know it. A caracao made in Holland in the second half of the 18th century, from Indian chintz patterned calico. Collection of the Met This is how calico and muslin are defined today (as far as I can tell, feel free to supply additional insight if you make further/different distinctions): In the US & Canada: Calico – cotton fabric with a small, all-over floral print Muslin – simple, cheap equal weft and warp plain weave fabric in white, cream or unbleached cotton and/or a very fine, light plain weave cotton fabric (sometimes called muslin gauze, though this usually applies to the very lightest, most open weave of these fabrics). Gauze – any very light fabric, generally with a plain weave Cheesecloth – Extremely soft and fine cotton fabric with a very open plain weave. In the UK, Australia and …

Terminology: What is calamanco?

Calamanco (also spelled callimanco, calimanco, and kalamink) is a thin fabric of worsted wool yarn which could come in a number of weaves: plain, satin, damasked, and was even brocaded in floral, striped and checked designs.  The surface was glazed or calendered (pressed through hot rollers). References to calamanco go back to the late 16th century, but calamanco’s heyday was from the end of the 17th century to the end of the 18th century.  It was a popular fabric for women’s gowns and petticoats and men’s waistcoats, though it was gradually replaced by cotton and linen calico as a dress fabric. Daniel Defoe mentions a petticoat of black calamanco in 1720, and they remained popular among the rural populace until the early 19th century.  He also describes the wardrobe of the ‘poorest countryman’ in England and notes his ‘waistcoat of calimanco from Norwich.’ At least in the beginning of the century, calamanco wasn’t confined to the common man’s waistcoat.  The Tatler in 1709 describes the wardrobe of the ‘Dapper’. The habit of a Dapper when …