chintz + cheetah

Chintz is a printed cotton cloth; the word comes from Hindi, chint, from Sanskrit,
chitra-s, ‘bright, clear, many-coloured, distinctively marked’.
The word cheetah has the same origin: Sanskrit chitraka, ‘hunting leopard, tiger’ (chitra-s, ‘bright, distinctively marked’ + kayah, ‘body’).

This leopard print chintz was designed by Rose Cumming (1887-1968), a Sydney-born textile designer and interior decorator who made her career in New York. Stranded there (while en route to Paris) in 1917 because of transport issues related to WWI, by 1921 Rose had a decorating business alongside an antique and fabric shop. She designed and printed her own textiles, and was particularly fond of chintz. Marlene Dietrich was a client.

Rose famously hated lamps, instead using black candles to light her rooms at home, but was also the first person to leave her shop lights on overnight to attract customers. Rose’s story continues with her great-niece, Sarah Cumming Cecil, the president and principal designer at Rose Cumming, based in Portland, Maine.

 

Featured Image: sabu pink rose leopard print by Rose Cumming

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