BOOK: Chintz: Indian Textiles for the West

Rosemary Crill  
(page 7)
(Rosemary Crill)
"'Painted cotton' has traditionally been used to differentiate chintzes from printed textiles".

(page 9)
"It is important to remember that the Portuguese who were the first to encounter these textiles, called them 'pintado', meaning not painted but 'spotted'."

(page 10)
Blue dye + red dye + rich calcium water (to fix the dye) = chintz that lasted

"These factors combined to make reds of unsurpassed brilliance and fastness, and this, together with the finest indigo blue, brought from nearby areas of cultivation, captivated the western market and put chintz in the centre of a revolution in dress and furnishing in the seventeenth centuries."

(page 11)
"... records there is a reference to a ship returning to Britain with a cargo of cotton fabrics, of which a quarter were painted... most cloth exported from India was plain, checked or stripped cotton, for everyday use rather than the beautiful painted chintz. "


1. plain cotton was procured,
2. cloth partially bleached and steeped in a solution of water, buffalo milk and myrobolan fruit,
3. cloth dried and beaten with wooden mallets to smooth,
4. design drawn with charcoal (stencil or perforation),
5. areas of design in red painted with alum mordant solution with a bamboo pen, areas in black painted with a iron mordant,
6. cloth boiled in a solution of chay root,
7. iron mordant reacts with myrobolan producing fast black lines,
8. Alum reacts with chay to produce red,
9. Washed + bleached,
10. steeped into myrabolan + buffalo milk again,
11. White lines drawn with wax

(page 14)
(about the Portuguese at the end of the fifteenth century)

"They send recommendation back saying that for the British market (the fabrics) had to have a more white background, and the flowers and branches had to be in colours in the middle of the quilt as 'the painter pleases'; as the ones that were being taken to Britain had 'sad red grounds' they were what they called the 'pintado quilts'.

(page 15)
"specific orders catering to regional tastes were essential for successful trade..."


  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: V & A Publishing (4 Feb 2008)
  • Language English
  • ISBN-10: 8189995154
  • ISBN-13: 978-8189995157
  • ASIN: 1851775323

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