Welcome to ‘It’s time to rethink…’, a series where we’ll be bringing some of our favourite neglected (and at times mildly controversial) decorative elements back in to the spotlight. Get ready to pour over patchwork, sigh about stripes, and have a moral tussle about whether you’re ready for the return of tented ceilings.
Today Toile de Jouy fabrics – what they are, where to buy them and how to use them…
A POTTED HISTORY
The story of Toile de Jouy fabric starts in Eighteenth-century France, in the town of Jouy-en-Josas. At the height of Europe’s obsession with Indian cotton (which saw the fabric banned for a time by both the French and English governments) the German-born Christophe-Philippe Oberkampf set up a factory near the Bièvre river. The factory became the first to print using copper plates rather than the traditional Indian woodblocks, allowing for a larger repeat pattern and far more detail. Oberkampf commissioned the best artists of the day to design pastoral scenes with humans figures that reflected the interests of the day – from the obsession with the Orient and the classical world, to the first hot air ballon flight.
SOME OF OUR FAVOURITE SOURCES
- Top row from left: ‘Chinese Toile‘ (lychee), by Jasper for Michael S Smith, hemp, £204, from Jamb. ‘Manon‘ (bleu anglais), by Nicole Fabre Designs, linen, £116, from Tissus d’Hélène. ‘La Fëte‘ (rose), by Toiles de Jouy l’Authentique, cotton, £96, from Tissus d’Hélène. ‘Le Pecheur‘ (pink), cotton, 100cm wide, £92, from Nicholas Herbert.
- Bottom row from left: ‘Old Macdonald‘ (blue), cotton, £101, from Nicholas Herbert. ‘Vauxhall Gardens‘ (mallow pink), cotton, £75, from Lewis & Wood. ‘Diana the Huntress‘ (oxford), cotton, 121cm wide, £75, from Lewis & Wood. ‘Chinese Toile‘ (charcoal on oyster), linen, 122cm wide, £170, from Bennison Fabrics. ‘Crespières‘ (rose ancien), cotton, £148.80, from Pierre Frey. Background ‘Kappa 2.0‘ (fire), cotton, £45, from Nya Nordiska. All prices per metre.
- Top row from left: ‘Cherubins‘ (or), by Charles Burger, linen/cotton, 130cm wide, €102.60, from Turnell & Gigon. ‘Oberkampf‘ (étain), by Braquenié, linen, £184.80, from Pierre Frey.
- Middle row from left: ‘Les Vues de Paris‘ (charcoal), cotton, £62.50, from Marvic Textiles. ‘Rochefort‘ (ebene), by Manuel Canovas, linen, £99, from Colefax and Fowler. ‘Valbonne’ (ivory/bottle green), cotton, 270cm wide, £373, from C&C Milano.
- Bottom row from left: ‘Les Plaisirs‘ (multi), by Brunschwig & Fils, cotton, £92, from G P & J Baker. ‘Le Hameau‘ (charcoal), by Brunschwig & Fils, cotton, 175cm wide, £98, from G P & J Baker. ‘Xian‘ (yellow), cotton, £116, from Nicholas Herbert. ‘Les Quatre Parties du Monde‘ (vert fond lin), by Toiles de Jouy l’Authentique, cotton, £96, from Tissus d’Hélène. Background ‘Kappa 2.0‘ (nero), cotton, £45, from Nya Nordiska. All prices per metre.
HOW TO USE THEM
A bedroom in yellow Pierre Frey wallpaper at Domaine de la Baume. Pierre Frey’s ‘Coutances’ (primrose yellow) is similar.
The floral wallpaper in this bedroom wallpaper, also at Domaine de la Baume, is from Charles Burger. The interiors have been designed with the intention of reinterpreting eighteenth-century styles, thus Toile de Jouy is fitting.
After visiting her friend Kathryn
Ireland in France’s Tarn region, Anne Halsey
bought a French farmhouse retreat. Hints of
pink add a soft touch a bedroom, in which ‘Toile’ by
Ireland was used for the curtains, headboard and
footboard; to one side is a free-standing bath.
This spare room in the restored Cumbrian farmhouse of Annabel Lewis (owner of V V Rouleaux) has an antique canopied bed covered in toile de Jouy, with a nightstand painted in a matching hue. The unframed paintings and books piled by the bed add a relaxed look to the period features.
Inspired by old document print fabrics in rich, floral motifs, House & Garden’s Gabby Deeming and Ruth Sleightholme created a sumptuous room for the March 2015 issue’s decoration story. The walls are battened in ‘Toile Rivière Enchantée’ (corail) fabric by Charles Burgerlinen/cotton, £106 a metre, at Turnell & Gigon. While the bed curtain is ‘Rayures Nantes’ (blue), by Clarence House, linen/cotton, £276.80 a metre, at Turnell & Gigon, lined in ‘Lining Stripe’ (black), cotton, £19.50 a metre, at Ian Mankin.
In the dining room of this Hampshire vicarage decorated by Max Rollitt, sumptuous curtains made from ‘2018 Toile de Tour Murillo’ by Le Manach are draped at the window, with dining room walls painted in Farrow & Ball’s ‘Light Blue’.