The Techniques of Chintz

Fashion and Textile Museum in London is having an exhibition on Chintz from Fries Museum, The Netherlands 18 May – 15 August 2021

The Fashion and Textile Museum Blog

Did you know the word chintz refers to a technique, rather than to the fabric itself? As we look ahead to Chintz: Cotton in Bloom, we thought it would be fitting to explore the techniques used to create the textiles that will be displayed during this exhibition.

Origins: From India to Europe

The word chintz comes from the Hindi “chint” or Persian “chitta” meaning “spotted” or “printed”. Originally an Indian hand-painted or hand-printed calico, it became popular in Europe during the sixteenth and seventeenth century, when it was imported by the Portuguese and latterly the East India Company (VOC).

“after many tryalls bought my wife a chintz, that is, a painted Indian calico, for to line her new study, which is very pretty” – Samuel Pepys, Saturday 5 September 1663

Detail of palempore. Cotton, painted and dyed using the chintz technique. India, 1700-1725. Fries Museum Leeuwarden. Photo Studio Noorderblik.

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