Where does the word “calico” come from and What does calico mean?

Nowadays in America the word “calico” applies to a printed cotton cloth of plain weave, though in England it is unprinted.

But originally, back in the sixteenth century, the name applied to cotton cloth of various kinds which might be stained, dyed, printed, or plain, for it then referred to any of the various cloths that were imported into England from the seaport city of Calicut, India, from which it got its name.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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