Among the 200 objects in “The Fabric of India” exhibition on display through January at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London is a vast chintz tent used by the renowned 17th-century Deccan ruler Tipu Sultan.
In the late 17th and early 18th centuries, the European craze for such Indian chintz, printed cotton fabric with a glazed finish, prompted several governments to tax and even ban imports.
Eventually, Europeans began making the fabric themselves. And the Indian industry declined — its skilled, labor- intensive techniques utilizing woodblock printing and meticulous hand painting of floral motifs on unprocessed, hand-dyed cotton, unable to compete with Western manufacturing…”
Images: Good Earth