This section is from the "A Complete Dictionary of Dry Goods" book, by George S. Cole. Also available from Amazon: A complete dictionary of dry goods and history of silk, cotton, linen, wool and other fibrous substances,: Including a full explanation of the modern processes ... together with various useful tables.
Padding. In calico-printing, the process of applying to the fabric a mordant, which when dried, is next printed with a design, the result that, after the cloth has been dyed in the bath and cleared, white patterns appear upon a ground of uniform color. These white patterns or spaces may be afterward printed upon in steam or pigment colors. Calicoes produced in this way are said to be in the padding style. The so-called padding styles in calico printing are, in reality, a modification of the madder styles or alzarin dyed colors, and, although not used so largely as formerly, are still employed in print works to a certain extent.