It's hard to appreciate how complicated it was to get a print with so many different colors before modern fabric printing techniques were invented.
Ikat was another technique in use at that time and still today to make a complex and colorful print. Here is a link to the blog I wrote about visiting an Ikat factory this summer.
There are many processes that go towards making an elaborately patterned and many colored chintz fabric could take several weeks to complete. First the fabric is seeped with a preparation of fatty milk and extracts of plant which contain tannic acid. The fabric is dried thoroughly. The design outline that is painted on the fabric turns black because of the tannic acid on the fabric. When you want paint red take the mixture of alum and Brazil wood. Then the fabric is dyed in hot water, which contains madder root, or another red dye called chay. The fabric is then cleaned to remove the tanning agent. Usually, it was done with cow dung. After this process, it is again dyed in indigo. The portion, which should not be dyed blue, is covered with wax resist. The fabric is then dipped in hot water to remove wax resist. It is then washed, dried, and sized.
Tomorrow ... my pants muslin fitting report!