Toile de Jouy, a true jewel that never stops shining through the years
Marie Antoinette’s favorite fabric traces its origin to the city near Versailles, Jouy-en-Josas, which was responsible for producing toile de Jouy.
France is a transcendent country of the fashion industry and in the 18th century the regions of the country specialized in a specific sector. To give an example, Lyon was dedicated to the creation of his silks.
By lifting the ban on the production and export of printed or painted cloth from India in 1759, better known as indiana, it gave cloth a chance to prosper in the country. The reason for the ban was implemented in order to protect the domestic silk industry from the demand for cotton, which at that time could only be obtained through import.
The business of producing toile de Jouy
The regions of France such as Nantes or Mulhouse were dedicated to the manufacture of printed cotton fabrics, but compared to Jouy, the businessman Christophe-Philppe Oberkampf became the main center of these printed fabrics. Christophe, of German origin, who came from a family of dyers, knew how to handle the lifting of the ban in his favor and at that time he started the business of producing toile de Jouy.
The origin of the toile de Jouy comes from the inspiration of the Chintz cottons from India, when it arrived in France it was strengthened and developed to the unique style that we know today. At the beginning of this canvas they had a certain function similar to newspapers since their lines and patterns recounted the change in French mentality, in relation to the aesthetics of the arts as a reflection of new ideals and revolutions.
Expression of curiosity
At that time this fabric was born as an expression of curiosity and desire to discover new cultures and lands of the time. This gave some importance to foreign cultures of the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia.
Events of social and political interest began to be portrayed in this fabric. From country scenes, native animals, Japanese gardens, pagodas, traditional buildings among others, it covers a multitude of concepts. Its traditional design remained monochromatic, traditionally using the colors blue, red and sepia on a white background with various themes from birds, flowers, mythological themes and pastoral motifs. The same concept is still maintained but updated in modern tones, more adventurous combinations, trends and social themes to the modernity of the 21st century.
“Toile de Jouy is to France what chintz is to England or patchwork-type calico is to the United States; the fabric of the nation.”Marilyn Bethany — New York Magazine
In relation to fashion, in a New York Magazine article written by journalist Marilyn Bethany, she reports “Toile de Jouy is to France what chintz is to England or patchwork-type calico is to the United States; the fabric of the nation.” referring to the different forms of printed cotton in the countries that became known and disseminated to refer to the interior design trend that was at its peak in the 50s.
All firms have toiles de Jouy on file
The first Christian Dior boutique used toile de Jouy to upholster their first establishment. Fashion designers such as Gianfranco Ferré, Maria Grazia Chiuri, John Galliano for Dior, Acne Tibi, Dior, Chloé and Johanna Ortiz to give a few examples have used the fabric in their collections. All firms have toiles de Jouy on file. At Splash by Lo we have brought toile de Jouy to several of our children’s collections with different country and animal themes.