Norwich Calamanco
c 1760

Very rare piece of this cloth. See my ARTICLE 18th century Norwich Wool Stuffs and the skirts in 18th century Costume SOLD section. The V & A have a sample book of the Norwich manufacturer John Kelly c 1760 with costs of production of various worsteds. Although the book was for the Portuguese market yellow stripe calamancoes in the book bear a striking resemblence to this stripe. The glaze (calendaring) was achieved by putting the completed fabric through heated cylinders. Calendering makes the fabric dirt resistant and therefore stronger. Calamanco or Kalamink is a Spanish word meaning a worsted material, with a fine gloss ie calendered or glazed. There were many types of calamanco and they could be brocaded, clouded, figured, flowered, mock striped, shaded, sprigged, striped white and white flowered or plain. These fabrics were produced in vast quantities for the export market. An account of 1802 describes the brilliance of calamancoes, satins and brilliants: This manufacture was peculiar to Norwich, and the colours employed were said to surpass any others dyed in Europe. A photograph of a similiar skirt different colourway dated 1763 held in a private collection in Friesland. This was bought in Holland where it is called grein and was used for skirts. In the Symbuts sample book in the Fries Museum in The Netherlands there are samples of stripes or grein along with damasks, plains and diamante designs with measurements in yards all exported from Norwich. Similar striped fabric appears on the sample acard from the Norwich Textiles website.


worsted wool with wide yellow bands alternating with pinky/mauve shaded stripes and shaded green stripes, glazed, 16 x 18 1/2 in wide or 40 x 47 cm wide selvedge to selvedge


This has got quite a few moth marks and a large hole, which could be cut off, as you should be able to see from photos. Slightly marked. But nevertheless it is a rare piece of cloth and if you want it as an example, rather than for decorative purposes it would be good to have.


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