I’m like a kid in a candy store every time I go into a fabric store. I could spend hours there. And, when left unattended, I often do. Something that caught my eye the other day was a display of beautiful toile de Jouy fabrics. I tried to take a picture, but my battery was dead. (Wow. That never happens. :|) It got me to thinking about the actual history of toile de Jouy and how this classic style came about. So, I thought you might enjoy a little Design 101. If you thought this pattern wouldn’t fit your design style, you might find yourself rethinking that after reading this post.
I’ll begin with a brief explanation of where toile got its name and follow up with some amazing inspiration rooms decorated with toile design elements. I’ve also selected a few beautiful decor items you might enjoy in your home.
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Toile de Jouy
- Toile is pronounced “twall” and got its name from a French term meaning “linen cloth” or “canvas”
- Toile is used as an abbreviation of the term toile de Jouy (twäl-də-ˈzhwē), a term that translates to “cloth of Jouy”
- Toile de Jouy is named after Jouy-en-Josas, France where, in 1760, the factory Oberkampf was founded. Up until that time in France, printing on cotton was done with wooden blocks. Oberkampf was the first company to bring copperplate printing, popular in England and Ireland, to France. The finer lines on the copperplates allowed for greater variation in light and shade. It also allowed for larger repeat patterns; thus enabling artists to be much more creative with the designs. The pastoral scenes depicted on toile de Jouy told a story and included many major events of the time. The scenes were done in a single color on a white or off-white background.
- Today toile has come to refer to any type of similar printed fabric.
Toile de Jouy is extremely versatile and available in so many different patterns and colors. It works with just about any design style and looks beautiful as upholstery, linens, wall coverings, dishes and, well, pretty much anything.
Here are a few things I found that show some of the fun ways you can bring toile into your home.
1) Diptyque Rose Delight Candle, 2) Dalton Pillow-Top X-Bench, 3) Scentennials Scented Fragrant Shelf & Drawer Liners, 4) Badger Basket Round Bassinet, 5) James Settee, 6) Indiennes Table Runner, 7) Set of 4 Indiennes Cloth Napkins, 8) Deny Designs Paris Toile Shower Curtain
Have you decorated with toile? I’d love to see how you’ve used it in your home. You’re welcome to share your pictures in the comments or join me in my Facebook group and share them there.
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