Wearing Cotton Prints

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

Please note, however, that 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.