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Calico printing, 1835.

Allom, Thomas

Calico printing, 1835.
2 8 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 20cm


Engraving after a drawing by Thomas Allom, showing textile workers printing designs on calico. Cotton was spun and woven into cloth by hand until the late 1700s, when Richard Arkwright (1732-1792) and others developed textile machinery which revolutionised cotton manufacturing. Mechanisation lowered the cost of cotton production while increasing demand for cotton products, and workers were increasingly driven from the fields into the new cotton mills and factories. Calico is a simple woven cotton fabric that originated as a printed fabric from Calicut, India. Illustration from 'History of the cotton manufacture in Great Britain: with a notice of its early history in the East, and in all the quarters of the globe' by Edward Baines (1800-1890), published in London in 1835.

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© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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