Handloom Weaving

Calico Fabric: A Versatile Textile

Calico fabric, a popular and versatile textile, has been an integral part of the fashion and crafting industry for centuries. With its unique qualities and wide range of applications, calico fabric has become a favorite among designers, artists, and hobbyists alike.

Origins of Calico Fabric

Calico fabric originated in Calicut, India, which was a major trading center for cotton fabrics during the medieval period. The term "calico" is derived from the name of this coastal city. The fabric gained popularity in Europe during the 17th century when it was imported from India. Calico fabric became highly sought after for its lightweight, breathable, and easily dyeable nature.

Characteristics of Calico Fabric

Calico fabric is typically made from 100% cotton fibers. It is known for its plain weave and unbleached or lightly bleached appearance. The fabric has a slightly coarse texture and is often characterized by small, scattered motifs or patterns. It is lightweight, breathable, and has good draping properties, making it suitable for a variety of applications.

The Various Uses of Calico Fabric

Calico fabric finds its application in various industries and creative endeavors. Some of the popular uses of calico fabric include:

Calico Fabric in Fashion Design

Calico prints play a vital role in the fashion industry, especially during the garment design and production stages. Fashion designers use calico fabric as a "mock-up" material to create initial garment samples and prototypes. By using calico fabric for these initial stages, designers can test the fit, shape, and structure of the garment before moving on to expensive or delicate fabrics.

Calico Fabric in Home Decor

Calico fabric adds a touch of warmth and character to living spaces with its natural, unbleached, or lightly bleached appearance compliments various interior design styles. It is commonly used for making curtains, bed linens, tablecloths, and cushion covers. Its versatile nature allows it to seamlessly blend into both traditional and contemporary settings.

Calico Fabric in Arts and Crafts

Artists and crafters enjoy working with calico fabric due to its durability and versatility. It is commonly used for creating quilts, soft toys, tote bags, and other craft projects. The fabric's plain weave and slightly coarse texture make it ideal for various painting and embellishment techniques. Furthermore, the calico fabric can endure frequent handling and multiple washes, ensuring the longevity of crafted items.

Choosing the Right Calico Fabric

When selecting calico fabric for your project, consider the following factors:

Weight and Thickness: Choose a calico fabric weight suitable for your intended use. Lighter weights work well for clothing and delicate crafts, while heavier weights are ideal for upholstery and home decor.

Pattern and Color: Calico fabric comes in a variety of patterns and colors. Select a pattern that aligns with your creative vision and a color that complements your overall design scheme.

Quality: Inspect the fabric for any flaws or irregularities. Ensure that the fabric is tightly woven and free from defects.

Caring for Calico Fabric

To maintain the quality and longevity of calico fabric, follow these care instructions:

Washing: Machine wash the fabric in cold water with a gentle detergent.

Use a mild or delicate cycle to prevent excessive agitation.

Avoid using bleach or harsh chemicals that may damage the fabric.

Drying: Dry the fabric on a low heat setting or hang it to air dry.

Ironing: Iron the fabric on a medium heat setting if necessary, but avoid high temperatures that can scorch the fabric.


Q: Is Calico fabric suitable for quilting or patchwork projects?

A:Yes, Calico fabric is widely used for quilting and patchwork projects. Its tight weave and medium-weight make it easy to work with and provide a stable foundation for quilts and patchwork designs. It comes in a variety of colors and patterns, offering endless creative possibilities.

Q:  Can Calico fabric be used for making reusable grocery bags or tote bags?

A:Certainly! Calico fabric is a popular choice for making reusable grocery bags or tote bags. Its sturdy yet lightweight nature makes it ideal for carrying groceries or other items. Additionally, Calico fabric can be easily customized with prints or embellishments to create unique and eco-friendly bags.

Q: Is Calico fabric suitable for screen printing or heat transfer designs?

A: Yes, Calico fabric can be used for screen printing or heat transfer designs. Its tight weave provides a smooth surface for clear and crisp printing results. However, it is recommended to use fabric ink or heat transfer materials specifically designed for cotton fabrics to ensure optimal adhesion and longevity of the printed designs.

Q: Where can I purchase Calico fabric?

A: Calico fabric is readily available in fabric stores, both online and offline. You can also find a wide selection of calico fabric in specialty textile shops, eco-friendly boutiques, and online platforms like Anuprerna

Team Anuprerna

Team Anuprerna

At Anuprerna, We Requests Everyone To Contribute And Share. This Way We Can Create Global Recognition For These Beautiful Handwoven Craft & Textiles To Bestow Value Onto The Ordinary Lives Of Our Artisans With Extraordinary Skills. And We Believe That's The Only Way We Can Build A Sustainable And Ethical World For Us.


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