|A Chintz bedroom by Mario Buatta. Recalling the traditions|
of Colefax & Fowler, the room is filled with English furniture
and a cultivated collection of antiques and accessories.
|A room of Mauve Chintz and dull green |
by Elsie de Wolfe. Early 20th Century.
I think what I love most about Chintz is it's storied past; how something so humble in origin could become a coveted treasure of 17th and 18th Century Europe, and later a staple for Decorators such as Colefax & Fowler, Elsie de Wolfe, and Rose Cummings.
|17th Century Chintz from the|
Victoria & Albert Museum.
The word Chintz, by the way, is derived from the Hindi word 'Chitra', meaning 'many colors' or 'speckled'.
By the 1600's, Portuguese and Dutch traders were bringing the fabric into Europe where it became an instant status symbol; it's rarity driving up the price so that only the elite could afford it. The fashionable sets of Society not only employed the exuberant fabric in their interiors as draperies and bedding, but also commissioned dress makers to turn the exotic import into gowns trimmed with handmade lace and embroidered linen. This sent shock waves through the fashion trade as hundreds of wealthy women shunned silk and velvet and sought to have their gowns made from this novel material.
|Pamplores Chintz from the Cormandel |
Coast in aTree of Life Motif.
Circa 18th Century.
|In the film Marie Antoinette, Costume Designer Milena Canonero pays homage to the Chintz fashion. Kirsten Dunst wear a role a la francaise of cotton Chintz over silk.|
|Chintz even traveled to the American Colonies.|
Here, a hand quilted wool skirt is paired with an
Indian Chintz coat. Circa 1750's.
Image from Colonial Williamsburg.
|A Chintz dress c. 1770-1780. English tailoring.|
Fabric from the Cormandel Coast, India.
|An English Chintz dress with hand embroidered Linen apron and collar.|
Circa 1780. Patricia Harris Gallery of Textiles & Costume.
Note how the pattern of the Chintz has become more Western.
|Elsie de Wolfe Chintz by Scalamandre is a classic with it's quaint |
Fern pattern and reserved color palette. It's one of my favorites.
|The Bedroom of Rose Cummings' Mother;|
the colors for the Louis XVI furnishings and the
Lit a Polonaise all pulled from her Violet hued
Chintz Draperies, the pattern still in production today.
|Little original 16th and 17th Century chintz remains. |
Here, an amusing pelmet dating to the 1850's.
|A Chintz bedroom by Elsie de Wolfe, the half tester bed|
done in the French style.
|A Bedroom by Michael S. Smith, the walls covered in fabric inspired |
by original Indian Chintz patterns. The fabric is from Smith's
Jasper line of textiles.
|A Kitchen eating area by Michael S. Smith.|
The Drapery fabric based on original Indian Chintz patterns,
is from his Jasper line.