Wearing Prints

Last updated: Jan 7, 2024

Illustrations of men and women wearing clothing that appears to be made of printed textiles, such as chintz, calico, or printed linen. These provide some insight into when such clothing was worn, who was wearing it, and what they wore with it.

I am somewhat subjective when it comes to inclusion on this list. I am leaving off floral patterns that look more like woven silks to me – but I do not know for sure whether these illustrations really, truly represent 18th century calico gowns, chintz banyans, etc. Plus, many of these are hand-colored mezzotints, so the color combinations may not be what the original artist had in mind.

Women in Print Clothing

Many – though not all – of the 18th century women wearing print gowns are working women, often servants. Short gowns and bedgowns appear frequently, often in what appear to be monochromatic or sprigged patterns. Long gowns tend to be worn with solid-colored quilted petticoats.

Men in Print Clothing

The examples of print menswear that I’ve found illustrations (so far!) are banyans.


This section (still in development) consists mostly of descriptions of outfits with at least one cotton-print garment from runaway advertisements. I’m looking at the entire outfit that the person was described as wearing, rather than additional garments and goods that the people “took with them.”

  • a Callico Jacket, a blue Bays Petticoat, blue Stocking with white Clocks, and high heel’d Shoes.” (Boston Evening Post, October 20, 1735)
  • “a Cinamon colour’d Camblet Cloak, and yellow colour’d Head, a strip’d red and green Stuff Robe, a red and white quilted Callico Petticoat, and under blue and Linsey Woolsey Petticoat, with others, Cotton and Linnen Shift, blue yarn Stockings, and red Shoes.” (New England Weekly Journal, October 28, 1735)
  • an old Calicoe short Gown, a grey Linsey Woolsey Ditto, a striped, and a white Linen Apron, blue Stockings new Shoes, striped Handkerchief, white Cap, a Straw Hat, and a Linsey Woolsey grey and white Petticoat” (The Pennsylvania Gazette, July 20, 1758)
  • “a dark small figured silk and thread long gown, a short calico one over it, a striped lincey petticoat, yarn stockings, half worn shoes, and large white metal shoe buckles, with stones set therein” (The Pennsylvania Gazette, March 27, 1760)
  • “had on a short red cloak a white hat and a pair of men’s shoes and with her callico gown” (The New-York Gazette, December 13, 1764)
  • a Calicoe Bedgown, two quilted Petticoats, the one black, the other yellow, no Shoes nor Stockings.” (The Pennsylvania Gazette, June 6, 1765)
  • “a strip’d Home-spun Petticoat, a double purple and white Callico short Gown, both sides alike, a Pair of old Stuff Shoes, without Stockings.” (The New-York Gazette, June 27, 1765)
  • “a striped stuff gown, a purple calicoe ditto, high heeled leather shoes, white metal buckles, and worsted stockings” (The Pennsylvania Gazette, January 11, 1770)
  • “a homespun pettycoat, and callico short gown.” (The New-York Gazette, October 20, 1777)
  • “a green fluff petticoat, a red and white callico short gown, a red silk handkerchief, and a black sattin bonnet.” (The Royal Gazette, September 20, 1780)
  • “a green hat, a long red striped calico gown, a brown linsey petticoat, a striped lawn apron” (The New-Jersey Gazette, July 11, 1781)
  • a short purple callicoe gown and pink petticoat.” (The Royal Gazette, June 27, 1781)
  • a short red callico bed gown, osnaburgh petticoat, and a blue check handerchief” (The Royal Gazette, October 10, 1781)
  • a dark callicoe short gown and homespun petticoat” (The Royal Gazette, January 9, 1782)
  • a callicoe short gown, black skirt, and a black hat trimmed with edging” (Rivington’s New-York Gazetteer, December 17, 1783)
  • “a home-spun Woollen Petticoat, a calico jacket, a hat covered with checker’d silk, a blue and white strip’d gown” (North Carolina Gazette, August 15, 1787)
  • “an old white negro cloth under jacket and coat, and a callico wrapper” (The City Gazette, February 7, 1788)
  • a blue callico wrapper, with small white sprigs, a dirty brown stuff petticoat, or a clean white linnen one” (The City Gazette, November 22, 1788)
  • a callico gown and coat” (The City Gazette, October 6, 1792)
  • “a check petty coat and a red and white callico wrapper” (The City Gazette, November 6, 1792)
  • a purple callico wrapper, and a blue striped cotton coat” (The City Gazette, May 8, 1793)
  • a red calico wrapper and a blue coat” (The City Gazette, May 24, 1793)
  • “a calico wrapper and a white negro cloth coat” (The City Gazette, July 2, 1793)
  • “a black petticoat and old calico wrapper” (The City Gazette, August 20, 1793)
  • “a brown long ell gown, and chocolate grounded calico jacket, and oznaburgs apron, and wore a small pair of plain silver ear-rings” (The City Gazette, January 31, 1795)
  • a dark spotted calico petticoat and wrapper” (The City Gazette, March 13, 1795)
  • “a blue negro cloth coat and calico gown body” (The City Gazette, August 18, 1795)
  • a Calico Wrapper and Blue Undercoat” (The City Gazette, December 23, 1795)
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