Monday, 9 November 2009

Exquisite 1830s printed Chintzes & Calicos

Here are some examples of beautiful printed cottons dating to around the 1830s, I was reminded of these after looking at a marvellous post from Mendofleur - see list of favourite sites opposite - about Florence Peto and her contribution to our knowledge of textile's and quilts.

The detail is exquisite, some of the patterns so tiny, delicate and naturalistic, while others, as shown in some of the patches in the quilt blocks salvaged from a damaged quilt, are quite abstract, and look strangely modern. The colours are simply stunning, the fabrics pre-date the discovery of chemical dyes, so the range of colours are wonderful, despite the passage of time, nothing to my mind beats the colours achieved from natural dyes & mordants. They seem to build up a patina and richness that sets antique fabric so highly above modern reproductions.

The flower basket chintz was salvaged from some enormous curtins that were virtually reduced to tatters from time, but I couldn't resist them, they were lined with the most beautiful fern-like chintz, one for the most delicate prints I have come across. The dear little snowdrops, like-wise from tiny starch-glazed chintz curtains, again lined with a miniature print with a sinuous, flowing design. The quilt blocks were also salvaged from a coverlet that had rotted away on one side, leaving the lining, and a few edges and quilt blocks to salvage and savour!

Please click on each photo to see the detail in the supersize photos.


  1. I love your's so interesting and informative, and filled with beautiful fabrics to admire. Thank you for sharing with us!

  2. Thank you Stella, I am really happy to be able to share some of my treasures, past and present with fellow textile-lovers. Lois xx

  3. Absolutely lovely chintzes - so fresh, well drawn and full of charm, they beat all else when it comes to domestic decortaion. Wish someone like Zoffany would copy more! Could you please look at my blogsite and tell me more about the Toile de Jouy I have posted - now sold but both I and client would like to know name, date and factory if you can please help identify??

  4. Hi Elizabeth, I have been away from my blog for a while, but I am now back to regular posting hopefully! Thanks for your lovely comments. I have had a look at the beautiful toile, lucky you to find such treasures! I have noted some of my thoughts about dates, origin etc as a comment, which I hope will be of some help, although I am afraid I couldn't identify the design for certain. Best wishes, Lois x

  5. Hi, Lois...thanks for visiting! I did see your wonderful posts on Charleston and the Bloomsbury group, and it coincided with my re-reading of a book I have, "Among the Bohemians", written by Vanessa Bell's granddaughter. I love that period in history, and your timely posts certainly influenced me to name my latest group of hats after them...although my color palette was not as colorful as their lifestyle!
    Stella xxx

  6. It is a fascinating subject, so bohemian and bravely outlandish for their times, these people certainly were movers and shakers without really realising it! They have had a profound effect on the world as we now know it. Lois x