The Medieval Calico Craze
A few rolls of calico cloth is all it took to take Europe by storm!
Named after a little trading town along the Malabar coast, Calicut, calico was one of the port’s most famous export to the world. How famous? Famous enough for the British to ban its import to protect the interests of its local weavers. In retrospect, calico trade would be one of the catalysts to the growth of the British East India Company in India.
Calico’s origins can be dated to the 16th century CE and traced to a tiny weaving community in Kerala called the Saliyas. Historians have even found evidence of a similar piece of cloth in Egypt, which is believed to have originated from a port in Gujarat in the 15th century CE.