Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A glossy woolen fabric with a checked pattern on one side.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A glossy woolen fabric with striped or checkered designs.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A glossy woolen stuff, plain, striped, or checked.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A glossy woolen satin-twilled stuff, checkered or brocaded in the warp, so that the pattern showed on one side only. Also spelled callimanco, calimanco.

Etymologies

Perhaps from Spanish calamaco, from Late Latin calamaucus, felt cap.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Spanish calamaco, from Late Latin calamaucus ("skullcap") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Then there is a quilted calamanco coat, and a pair of stockings I bought of the pedlar, and my straw-hat with blue strings; and a remnant of Scots cloth, which will make two shirts and two shifts, the same I have on, for my poor father and mother.

    Pamela

  • The women, too, made a picture strange to our eyes, the matrons in jacket and petticoat, a Madras handkerchief flung about their shoulders, the girls in fresh cottonade or calamanco.

    The Crossing

  • One of them wore a fresh red-and-white calamanco gown.

    The Crossing

  • "How are you, Mrs. Tod?" as a comely, middle-aged body appeared at the right hand doorway, dressed sprucely in one of those things Jael called a "coat and jacket," likewise a red calamanco petticoat tucked up at the pocket-holes.

    John Halifax, Gentleman

  • The lane was quite populous with wagons and hay-makers – the men in their corduroys and blue hose – the woman in their trim jackets and bright calamanco petticoats.

    John Halifax, Gentleman

  • There the young ladies were taught dancing and music, for which, as well as for their frocks and "pink calamanco shoes," their fathers paid enormous sums in depreciated Continental currency.

    The Winning of the West, Volume 2 From the Alleghanies to the Mississippi, 1777-1783

  • She was clad in a calamanco raiment, and was further adorned with a variety of gaudily colored trimmings, vastly suggestive of the tropical world of which she was an inhabitant.

    Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates

  • Crack, crack! crack, crack! what a fuss thou makest! as if it concerned the good people to be informed that a man with a pale face, and clad in black had the honour to be driven into Paris at nine o'clock at night, by a postillion in a tawny yellow jerkin, turned up with a red calamanco!

    History of English Humour, Vol. 2 (of 2)

  • The lane was quite populous with waggons and hay-makers -- the men in their corduroys and blue hose -- the women in their trim jackets and bright calamanco petticoats.

    John Halifax, Gentleman

  • Look you, this melancholy pleasure, which would have furnished the departed Voss with worthy matter for more than one blessed Idyl -- (the more so, as on such occasions, I am generally arrayed in a morning gown, though I am sorry to say, not a calamanco one, with great flowers;) this melancholy pleasure was already grown here in Halle to a sweet, pedantic habit.

    Hyperion

Comments

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  • Those must have been some sharp shoe uppers.

    November 14, 2008

  • A checkered woolen fabric often used in the eighteenth century for women's shoe uppers.

    November 14, 2008