WHAT: Glazed fabric usually with a floral or bold pattern.
HISTORY: Chintz originated in India, strictly speaking it is a glazed fabric, but modernly it is known more for the grandmotherly floral patterns rather than the glaze. The Indian woodblock was printed on the calico (muslin) fabric and put through a process called calendaring to get the shiny glaze. During calendaring the fabric is put through rollers that put pressure and heat on the fabric resulting in a glaze. The glaze is not permanent and fades with time & use. Chintz was being imported from India into Europe at an alarming rate for the government, who banned chintz imports in France and England.
USES: Not to worry, chintz is no longer contraband and has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity in the past few years. Now, you can do a lot of chintz or just a little with a pillow or lampshade. Keep it modern by mixing it with animal prints or ikat. Also works great with fun, bright colors and geometrics. Can add a wonderful amount of history to a room, like a chair passed down from your chic English grandmother, because who’s to know your Grams was born in New Jersey?