A exhibition that opened at the Saint Louis Art Museum in Missouri, on Sunday, explores how the Indian textile industry revolutionized fashion, industry and global trade with special focus on an ancient textile art.
“Global Threads: The Art and Fashion of Indian Chintz”, has on display printed and painted textiles (known as Indian chintz) and pieces of rare garments created by Indian artisans dating back to the 17th century. The collection is drawn from the Indian chintz at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.
“Over several centuries, Indian artisans perfected complex methods for producing dyes and mordants to create painted and printed cloth in a spectrum of fade-resistant colors. Starting in the 17th century, these often brilliant and intricately designed textiles became known as chintz, and consumers worldwide were captivated by the lavish fabric,” a news release by the museum noted.
Curated by Sarah Fee, senior curator of global fashion and textiles at the Royal Ontario Museum, the exhibition also highlights contemporary Indian chintz artists who continue to keep the art form alive in recent times with a deep concern for environmental responsibility and sustainable practices.
Apart from Indian fabrics, a section of the exhibition also has on display private collections and complementary objects from the Saint Louis Art Museum’s collection, including a chintz-inspired Japanese dish and a 19th-century American quilt with chintz design.