Print Matters: Chintz


Print matters, is a series that will feature decorative motifs that appear to never go out of style. Sometimes the patterns that seem like the latest trend, are often steeped in history that is rich, elegant and a wonderful story. Follow along, and who knows, you may just fall in love with a oldie-but-a-goodie. 


/CHin(t)s/ noun: printed multicolored cotton fabric with a glazed finish, used especially for curtains and upholstery. 

When a client comes in and is looking for something floral, more than likely they are looking for something along the lines of chintz. This floral fabric, that often feels as English as a cup of tea, hails from India. In Sanskrit (chitra), a word for variegated, defines the way the fabric exhibits different colors in various lines or streaks. This fabric has often delicate botany that is seen throughout. 

The French and Dutch were some of the first European peoples, to take Chintz and mass produce it, in clothes, curtains, wall coverings, furniture and even shoes. Europe grew mad about the woodblock printed Indian fabric and ended up placing bans on purchasing it, in order to protect their own fabric industry. 

The word was later used to describe being overly abundant or common, as chintz became so popular. Even today, chintzy, can be used as a demeaning term, but no matter how common or overly abundant it is, chintz never seems to go out of style. 



illustration and writing by: Drew Albo