This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Monday, 27 June 2016

Spot the Frippet: chintz.

Chintz is a printed cotton fabric with a glazed surface,* typically with a pattern of flowers, and often used for soft furnishings.

Well, in some years it's often used for soft furnishings. anyway, for chintz goes in and out of fashion quite regularly (Ikea's 1996 slogan was Chuck Out Your Chintz).

In the 1980s you could fashionably have a chintzy pattern on every surface, including the carpet and yourself; nowadays the thing is to have one or two madly flowery pieces in an otherwise plain room.

In the 1780s your chintz might have appeared like this:

File:Dress (robe à l'anglaise) and skirts in chintz, ca. 1770-1790, shawl (fichu) in embroidered batiste, 1770-1800.jpg

(I do wish dresses like that would return!)

In the 1680s the French banned chintz altogether because it was having a bad effect on French fabric mills (the British followed suit (sorry) in the 1720s).

If you can't find some chintz, how about some chintzware:

Like it or loathe it, chintz is often down but seldom quite out. There'll be some somewhere, always. 

The interesting thing might be how many dips in fashion the particular example you spot has survived.

Actually, I have a flowery dress in the back of my wardrobe too pretty to throw away...I wonder if I can get away with calling it vintage?

Spot the Frippet: chintz. This word comes from the Hindi chīnt, from the Sanskrit citra, gaily-coloured.

*If it's not glazed it's called cretonne.

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