The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Diane Jessup
For The Sentinel 

Companion Animal: The colorful Calico cat


April 29, 2020


Ever wonder how the calico cat came by its name? Surprisingly, the word calico is actually an English corruption of an Indian word for the plain, unbleached cotton material in use in India since 1500 and first brought back to Britain around 1620. Starting in 1680, a process using wooden blocks to stamp colored patterns (usually floral) onto this plain cloth became popular. At first only one color was used but soon experienced "blockers" could add a second color to the pattern after the first blocking had dried. The colors used were red and black on the cream-colored cloth. It probably wasn't long before someone noticed the similarity between the "calico" cloth and the beautiful female cat...

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