Chintz is a glazed or polished cotton, usually used for upholstery, drapery, and sheeting. The Chintz design s are beautiful florals with motifs such as trees, birds, and animal and human figures, often combining realistic and stylized motifs in the same design.
Chintz was originally produced in India in the 1600s, using woodblock printing, painting and staining methods on calico until the end of the 18th century. Ever anxious to up their tacky quotient on the home front, Portuguese and Dutch traders started bringing chintz back to Europe almost immediately. Because chintz originated in 17th century India, early chintz designs had a strong Eastern influence.
These were greatly favored in England and Europe, Where new versions of exotic chintz patterns were created. Traditional English chintz patterns usually feature realistically rendered garden florals, muted in color and printed on antique beige backgrounds. And even lately, in the 1980’s everyone wanted the English country look with rooms filled with chintz fabrics.
French country chintz designs are more elaborately styled, using bright, promary colors and provincial motifs. By 1759, English and French textile mills were producing their own chintz fabric, and the ban was lifted. Lively patterns, often rich in color and contrast, can be found today in home decor fabrics.
English Chintz, 1875
The layouts on chintz designs range from elaborate all-overs and stripes to very detailed borders. Background colors can be white, beige, black, or primary colors such as red, blue or yellow. Any combination of rich or exotic colors looks well on chintz, and is enhanced by the high glaze on the fabric (a dull glaze is sometimes used). Beautiful drawing and painting are essential when designing chintz patterns.
17th and 18th Century Indian Chintz
Kingswood Chintz Fabric, £49.80 per meter
China Rose Hand-printed Chintz Fabric, Yellow & Blue on Cream
Le Lac Glazed Chintz, Brunschwig & Fils, price: $256.10
Drawing Room at Fenton House, with the sofa and curtains made of Caroline chintz.
Prestigious Full Bloom Chintz curtains – from £26.49, Blindsuk.net
Asquith Chair from John Lewis, upholstered with floral fabric, a contemporary and colorful chintz.
Chintz cushions by Kas, price: $29.97