In the past hundred years or so, 'chintz' has come to mean any floral printed furnishing fabric. Its origins as a hand-drawn and dyed fabric from India are often forgotten, but it is with these rare earlier chintzes that this book is concerned. It explores in detail the background and development of this beautiful technique and looks at the use of chintzes in Europe from the early 17th century to the mid-19th century, first as bed-curtains and wall-hangings and later for popular men's and women's dress. The V&A's collection, published for the first time in glorious colour and including close-up details, will interest interior designers, textile students and those involved in fashion.
Rosemary Crill is Senior Curator in the V&A's Asian Department. She is joint editor of Dress in Detail from Around the World (V&A 2002) and the author of Indian Embroidery (V&A 2000) and Indian Ikat Textiles (1998).