Chintz is back (as if it ever went away) and looking better than ever. Here are some classic ways to use it from our archive
There is something unashamedly old fashioned about a good chintz. Indian chintz fabrics first hit our shores in the 17th century and their increasingly florid successors were highly favoured by the Victorians for their practical attributes - chintz is a glazed fabric, easily wiped down and dusted. These days the Oxford Dictionary gives two markedly different definitions of 'chintzy' - on one hand it can mean "of, like or decorated with chintz" but it is also used as a term to describe something "brightly colourful but gaudy and tasteless." Why has chintz been so maligned? Perhaps it was over-exposure in the 1980s - every single issue of House & Garden within the decade is replete with glorious swags of the stuff draping windows and covering unashamedly frilly sofas. There are some rooms in which chintz looks instantly at home - traditional and otherwise stern sitting rooms can be softened by a touch of floral fabric, country bedrooms instantly prettified. We think it's time to fly the flag for chintz again!