July 19, 2010

Fabric Jouy de Vivre!

Pink and Brown French Toile Throw Pillow

It’s nearly impossible to have visited any type of interior furnishings store in the last ten years without having seen some version of the above fabric. Having made quite a comeback in the last decade, Toile, or more formally Toile de Jouy was first produced in 18th century France by Monsieur Christophe-Phillipe Oberkampf. Toile simply means cloth in French, but this cloth is certainly not simple.

blue toile

Designs were first engraved with 10-inch wooden blocks, then engravings were done with copperplates and finally a Swiss machine was developed to allow for more detail in designs. The most traditional toile is decorated with idyllic scenes inspired by pastoral life in the French countryside. As its popularity grew, one might have seen images of Greek and Roman mythology, themes surrounding children or depictions of famous Americans such as Ben Franklin and George Washington. 

toile_pillow

If traditional toile patterns feel too stuffy for your taste, you might want to take a chapter from the book of the talented author of the Cucumbersome blog who attacked her black and white toile pillow with a set of average highlighter pens and ended up with a funky twist on an old favorite. I think toile can be great in small doses…I have a couple yards that I picked up at a rummage sale and was thinking of trying to decide what to do with it. I don’t want it to take over my entire house, but a pillow or two might do the trick.

How do you feel about toile? Are you in love with this patterned fabric or does it send you running for the hills? What other ideas could be used to modernize this classic cloth?

12 comments:

  1. I love toile!!! I think even the traditional is so cool!!! But now that I've seen this new colorful print I am loving it even more!!! :D

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  2. love toile! Its even in my sons room :)

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  3. LOVE toile! Any thoughts on a baby girl nursery in toile? I'm looking for ideas! I'm following you now. Thanks for finding me on Southern Mommas and following me, I appreciate it!

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  4. I love toile too. Hey I sent you an award. Check out my blog :-)

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  5. LOVE it! I put red+white toile wallpaper in the hall of my DC apartment...with black + white floors - love it!!!

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  6. @amy...i've always thought that i'd use black & white toile with pale lavender for a baby girl's room....or maybe a brown toile for a boy?

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  7. I, too, am a toile-lover! My master bedroom has lots of black and ivory toile. It is simply timeless! I think your nursery ideas and great!

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  8. My mom and dad have lots of toile in their house thanks to my suggestions :)

    I love that pillow with the little bursts of color!!

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  9. Okay, I love toile anyway any day but I LOVE that last toile with the highlighter accents!

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  10. I love toile and even have the red/white version as my kitchen backsplash.

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  11. I really like toile and always look at it when I go to fabric and upholstery stores. I'm like you though, I think I will only use it in small doses.

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Lay it on me y'all!