Wednesday, 14 August 2013

The wonder that is the Toile De Jouy (Fabric Inspiration 1)

Hello it’s time for my second blog post! Now what can I put in this second post, it has almost as difficult as thinking about a subject for my first post!

I don’t have any creations to unveil yet, so I thought maybe I could share some of the different prints and fabrics I’m using as inspiration and give you a general feel of what LaurenPearl is all about!

There is no better place to start than the beautiful Toile De Jouy, which is my favourite print at the moment. Normally I wouldn’t go for prints like this, as I like something quirky and bright some might say a bit garish. There is something very classy and all together proper about a good toile.  Now I might hear some of you say...... what is a toile du jouy, but I guarantee you will know the print!

The History of Toile De Jouy

So lets start at the beginning of the toile’s journey, which is around the end of the seventeenth century when Europe finds and takes ownership of a certain print that include bright flowers as well as animal painted toiles, the origin of these toiles were imports from India.

As these designs were so popular and a competitor to factories in France, this caused Louis XIV (14th) to have a bit of a hissy fit and ban nation wide import and production, finally in 1759 he got over it and lifted the ban.

In the mean time Christophe-Phillipe Oberkampf from Wurtemburg saw an opportunity after the ban and opened a factory in Jouy-en-Josas, which specialised in printed cotton.  It soon became one of the most important in Europe.  Oberkampf was inspired by Indian printing techniques, that he used at Jouy and was able to obtain solid colour by the application of mordants (dyes) in the form of metallic salts onto the material, this was then developed by dipping in a vat of madder roots (a type of dye). The mordants use three different techniques Wood, copper plate and copper roller.

In the first ten years the factory created polychrome, wood block prints in a floral and botanical design this was mainly used for clothing (society ladies dresses!) In 1770, monochrome copper plate prints were used and allowed the fabric to be put on furniture.  Later in 1797 copper rollers were introduced and a new style was created which allowed geometric forms that were mixed with antiquity and mythological creatures.

Toile De Jouy today

With more that 30,00 original Toile De  Jouy designs, it is going to be hard finding an original design to adapt to this style.

Printing methods have most definitely evolved and gone are the days of wood block printing. We are now more likely to see a Toile hand painted or screen printed. The fabric also no longer needs to be created in Jouy-en-Josas to be called Toile De Jouy, we now recognise this print as designs that depict country scenes and are normally in black, purple, red or the most popular blue.

There is even a museum that can be visited that will tell you all about the history of this wonderful fabric and technique.

Below are some examples of fabric I have been looking at, I would just like to stress that none of the below are my designs and have been taken from different sites all over the web.


I’m off to V festival over the weekend, so I hope to report to you on lots of lovely festival inspired fabric.

Lots of love,

post signature

No comments :

Post a Comment