Calico Printers Association Ltd
The Calico Printers' Association Ltd was established in Manchester through the amalgamation of 46 textile printing companies and 13 textile merchants in 1899, in reaction to increased competition within the textile printing market and a decline in quality of goods and profit margins for manufacturers and wholesalers. The amalgamation was an attempt to preserve the tradition and standing of calico printing and to produce textiles of a high standard at reasonable prices. At the time of its inception, the company accounted for 80% of the printed cloth produced in Britain. The company's first chairman was F F Grafton, and the headquarters were located on Charlotte Street, Manchester. The company moved to more suitable premises in Mosley Street, Manchester, and in 1912 built the St James' Buildings on Oxford Street, Manchester. The company also had premises on Princess Street, Manchester, where designers from some of the individual producers represented by the Calico Printers' Association had design studios.
As well as representing manufacturers of printed cloth, the Calico Printers' Association engaged in research and development of textiles, including the development of polyethylene terephthalate in 1941, manufactured as Terylene by ICI and now known as PET.
By the 1950s, the company had expanded its operations to include spinning, weaving, merchanting, finishing, making-up, and wholesale and retail distribution of textiles, textile engineering, and the manufacture and distribution of chemicals.
The company merged with the English Sewing Cotton Company in 1968, and became part of a new organisation, English Calico Ltd.