Character Collection, 2021
The recent addition of our original chintz sofa has inspired us to do a little history homework on the flamboyant, floral fabric…
Originating from India and Pakistan almost 4000 years ago, ‘chintzes’ were a woodblock printed, painted, stained or glazed calico textile adorned with colourful, often floral designs. The fabric was imported from India to Europe in the 17th Century and became so popular that a temporary ban on chintz was introduced to protect domestic sales in Europe. However, Versailles audaciously ignored the ban and continued to adorn their furnishings and fashions at court with the textile.
Synonymous with William Morris and his Morris & Co company; the floral fabric greatly influenced the British Arts & Craft movement. With the advent of the Industrial Revolution in the 19th Century, factories were able to manufacture the textile themselves but, eschewing the factory method - Morris instead used luxurious materials and hand crafted techniques for wealthier patrons.
The chintz craze continued throughout the 20th Century: from its associations with Interior Decorator icons like Elsie De Wolfe, and a resurgence in the cheerful textile post World War 2, to First Lady Jackie Kennedy’s 'Orange Blossom' chintz pattern for The White House in the 1960’s and then epitomised in the 1980’s by the likes of Princess Diana and Laura Ashley.
Despite IKEA's 'Chuck out your Chintz' motto of the 1990's, the fabric continues to inspire us in today's contemporary interiors, most recently in the introduction of social media influenced 'grandmillenial' style.
Here is another great example of the chintz pattern being used alongside our vintage condition distressed French unupholstered tub chair in this contemporary fashion photoshoot, with set design by Trish Stephenson.
Here our Victorian chintz chesterfield sofa has be hired to elevate this modern country home interior for a Carpet Right 2022 campaign, with set design by Diana Civil.
The chintz fabric works well against the muted cream carpet, adding a bit of traditional elegance to the modern setting.
And with so much history, it only seems right to feature our chintz chesterfield sofa at the forefront of our Character Collection.