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Chintz refers to a painted or stained calico cloth. Calico cloth is just an unbleached fabric that is not often fully processed cotton cloth, originally belonging to India. The term "Chintz" derives from the Indian word "Chint," meaning broad and gaudily printed fabric. The intricate patterns of large flowers, birds, and other pictorial scenes in different bright colors on a lighter background characterize chintz.
Chintz originated as a woodblock printing produced in Hyderabad, India. After Vasco Da Gama successfully reached Calicut in India in 1498, the material became famous in Europe. During the 17th century, they were first imported to Europe from India and became the most popular choice for bed covers, cushions, and quilts. Later on, they started producing Indian designs and added their innovative patterns.
Making and process:
The ancient techniques used in India to create chintz were time-consuming and complicated, as each vegetable dye had to be bound to the cloth using a different chemical. It is worth mentioning today, the traditional process has almost vanished. Firstly, the calico was flattened and rubbed with buffalo milk for tanning and dyeing. The fabric was immersed in a solution to remove any madder from the areas designed to be plain. The material was then aged in the sun to remove any residual color. The final result of these stages was a bright chintz.
Due to the extended nature of the classic process, the completed fabric was costly. As the need in Europe continued, it is not astonishing that soon individuals began to look for cheaper ways to make chintz. However, presently Chintz sarees are trendy and high in demand.