Dress Calico

Calico is a popular fabric, providing lots of versatility and crafting applications. Shop Spotlight's quality calico fabric range online or in-store.

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Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Calico

Even though calico is one of the most common fabrics used by crafters, not everyone is familiar with it. If you are in that particular group, no need to worry, as Spotlight will now reveal everything you need to know about calico fabric.

What Is Calico?

Calico is a special fabric that is made from unbleached cotton. In many cases, the cotton is not fully processed during the manufacturing process, which gives calico that unique look.

So, what is the difference between calico and other fabrics with a similar look? Well, Calico is a lot thicker than muslin, but less thick compared to materials such as canvas and denim.

Where Did Calico Come From?

This particular fabric comes from India originally. The fabric can be traced back to the 11th century. Calico was originally known as "chaliyans" and was first referenced by writer Hemacandra. While it is quite possible that the fabric was around before the first written reference, this is the earliest historical reference to Calico.

What Are The Most Common Applications For Calico?

Most crafters will use calico for applications that require more durability. Some common examples include bags, home decorations, and curtains, which can all benefit from calico.

Since calico is quite the durable fabric, it is known to be quite resistant to common types of damage around the house. As a result, crafters often come across this material when the need to protect their project arises.

Is There A Difference Between Calico And Cotton Fabric?

Yes. Calico fabric is made with partially unprocessed and unbleached cotton, while cotton fabric is made from fully processed cotton. This also means that calico does include some impurities such as cotton husks.

What Is The Weave Used For Calico?

Calico has a plain wave. Because of a combination of partially processed cotton and the plain weave, calico ends up with a rough and coarse surface. It is also quite durable.

One of the main advantages of calico fabric is that the material is extremely affordable because less processing is required during the manufacturing process. There is also no dyeing involved, which also impacts the price of Calico in a positive manner.

Is Calico The Same Thing As Muslin?

While both materials share some similarities, calico is not the same thing as muslin. Muslin is made with fully processed cotton and has a relatively loose weave.

The main differences to remember between calico and muslin is that they have different thicknesses, origin and even weave structure. Of course, this does not mean that these two fabrics are often confused and used for similar applications.

Does Calico Shrink In The Wash?

Most fabrics made from cotton have some degree of shrinkage when they are washed for the first time. So, crafters are advised to wash their calico fabric before they sew with it.

Most calico fabrics will shrink approximately 10% when they are washed for the first time. This is pretty standard for cotton across the board and should be considered when ordering fabric for a project. Subsequent washes can cause another 3% of shrinkage.

Washing calico fabrics does not only prevent shrinkage problems once your project is completed, it can make the material a little easier to work with. When calico fabric is washed, it becomes less rigid and stiff. If you need some flexibility for your project, then it is certainly a good idea to wash your fabric first.

Is Calico Fabric Better For The Environment?

Calico is better for the environment than most fabrics, and this has everything to do with how the fabric is made. After all, calico fabric is not bleached or fully processed, which reduces the impact on the environment tremendously.

Another additional benefit of calico is that it can be used as a bedding material as well as reusable bags. Evidently, this makes it good for the environment in more than one way and should be considered by eco-friendly crafters.

Spotlight's Calico Collection

When you need a nice selection of calico to choose from, you do not have to look further than Spotlight. At Spotlight, you can find a variety of calico fabrics, available by the metre, pre-cut, or by bolt.

Just like all the other fabrics at Spotlight, customers can count on the sharpest prices on the calico fabric collection. Even though these fabrics are already some of the most affordable in the world, Spotlight takes things even further by providing you an even better deal. So, if you need some calico, you cannot miss out on this collection.



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