What IS calico? Where did it come from, and who used it to fashion clothing in the nineteenth century? Why did Calico appeal to working women? Why was Calico the fabric of choice for Calico Balls?
Beyond the obvious beneficiaries of the Calico Ball craze (mid- to late-nineteenth century United States)– the needy who received the once-worn dresses (or suits of clothes), who else benefited?
I suggest a short list of Hidden Beneficiaries. Who else can you identify?
One (unnamed) high-society New York City hostess started a fad that lasted fifty years…
The Calico Ball. Not only was the style of party highly fashionable, it also ensured help to those who needed it most.
A “Calico Ball”? Whoever heard of such a thing? Is it different than a debutante ball? A sock hop? A Leap-Year Ball? A Christmas Day Ball?
I’m impressed with the purpose behind a “calico ball”… especially because of where the fad began, and why.