Fashion and Textile museum London. 18 May – 12 September 2021

On show in the UK for the first time this spring, Chintz: Cotton in Bloom explores the remarkable history of chintz: how this colourful, floral fabric was created by the artisans of India, how it conquered hearts throughout Europe and how it has since been cherished and preserved across generations.

From exploring the techniques to the history of this fabulous textile. The exhibition is a wealth of information as well as a visual spectacular. Exploring how chintz came from India over to Europe in the latter half of the seventeenth century.

Cotton in Bloom explores the origins of the techniques of chintz, displaying how Indian artisans cleverly exploited the chemical reactions between metal salts and vegetable dyes, decorating their fabric with hand-painted or hand-printed patterns. The final product was pliable, multicoloured, colour-fast and washable, which in the seventeenth century, made it truly unique. Modern works by artist Renuka Reddy give life to the process of traditional chintz techniques, presenting examples of each of the 10, complex stages of the fabric’s creation.

The future for Chintz:

Chintz: Cotton in Bloom brings its history of this beloved textile to a close, with a look at a group of contemporary designers who are creating hope for its future. Today, both in the Netherlands and in India, traditional chintz techniques are disappearing rapidly. The carving of printing blocks, the hand-painting of decorations and historic methods of vegetable dyeing have become rare skills. However, in recent years, Dutch artists and Indian artisans have begun exchanging knowledge and inspiration, collaborating on textile artworks.

All images are copyright of the fashion and textile museum: LONDON.

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