Chintz Global Trade Wars

Watercolor, Acrylic and Oil on Yupo Paper
26″ x 40″
2021

$1900

Much like the China – U.S., global trade disputes and ban of electronic components exports to or imports from Huawei and it’s 5G technology, a similar trade war broke out in the 1700’s between Europe, led by Britain, and India after Europe’ s huge demand for chintz and similar textiles.

From BBC authors, “While European importers of chintz were profiting immensely from the calico craze, local European textile merchants were far from happy. “Long-established silk, linen, hemp, and wool manufacturers,” Fee writes, “rose up in protest and even rioted against ‘the tawdry, bespotted’ cottons made by ‘Heathens and Pagans’”. Accordingly, in order to protect domestic businesses, chintz was fully banned in France between 1686 and 1759, and partially banned in Britain between 1700 and 1774. There were also various edicts issued in Spain, Venice, Prussia, and the Ottoman Empire pertaining to the import and use of chintz and other Asian textiles. However, despite traders facing even the threat of execution, they continued to smuggle chintz into Europe, and it was still extensively worn.”

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