Calico is one of the most popular kinds of fabric, but not many people know that it had originated in the Indian subcontinent by the 11th century and has been mentioned in Indian literature by the 12th century writer Hemachandra. The Indian textile merchants traded in calico with the Africans by the 15th century and calico fabrics from Gujarat even appeared in Egypt. Trade with Europe followed from the 17th century onwards.
Calico cloth is unbleached and half-processed cotton. It has an unfinished appearance.
The word ‘Calico’ comes from Calicut, which was a European term for the Indian city Kozhikode in Kerala.
Back in the 17th and 18th century, clothes made out of Calico fabric were considered a sign of wealth and status. Its thick texture gives it sturdiness while also allowing breathability of the fabric, making it ideal for summer wear.
Where is Calico manufactured in India?