Calico 
cotton fabric


Calico is a woven textile made from unbleached cotton. The fabric was first made available to Inuinnait through the Hudson Bay trading post which opened in Tree River in 1919. The fabric was rapidly adopted for Mother Hubbard style parka covers. While the early calico cloth available to Inuinnait was often conservative in design, fashion increasingly demanded brighter colours and more intricate patterning.  Calico patterns today often have vibrant prints incorporating multiple cultural and geometric designs. 

Lucy Kala (right) with some of her friends encountered on the trail. Coronation Gulf, N.W.T. [Nunavut], May 1931. Finnie/ Library and Archives Canada / PA-101181.