A silk taffeta with a misty pattern as the result of using warp yarns that were printed before weaving. Silk chiné was developed principally in Lyon, in France, and became highly popular in the 18thC French court and beyond; in England it was referred to as warp printed taffeta. It was produced in two main ways, both variations on ikat in principle and effect.
The chiné à la branche process, sometimes called ‘reserved printing’, involves printing sets of warp yarns prior to warping and weaving. The warp threads are carefully assembled, wound on rolls and interlaced with temporary filling threads–these areas will not take the dyes– and printed on tables or sometimes dipped in dye baths. Once the dyes have been fixed to the silk warps and these are dry, they are ready for weaving, usually with a single colour weft.
An alternative process called chiné à la chaîne involves pre-printing the warps on a woven surface. In this method, the warp threads are woven into cloth with temporary weft threads and printed. The weft threads are then removed, leaving the printed warps to be woven into new cloth; this creates generally more accurate patterns that are blurred vertically.
Direct printing imiatations of chiné, being far less costly to produce became widespread as early as the mid 18th C