Toile de Jouy, the famous french fabric, has traveled the centuries and decorated our interiors, without ever going out of style.
Inspired by the Indiennes
Very fashionable among the French nobility and upper middle class at the beginning of the 18th century, the toile de Jouy was inspired by the “Indiennes”, these traditional oriental cotton fabrics with very bright colors and floral motifs printed by hand or with a stamp. of engraved wood, brought to Europe two centuries earlier. Originally, this type of fabric was created in the workshops of the factory founded in 1760 by Christophe-Philippe Oberkampf in the town of Jouy-en-Josas (currently in Yvelines in France). A genius entrepreneur, Oberkampf fetched cotton fabrics all over Europe to then sell them around the world. Tapestries, furnishing fabrics, confections of toilets, the nobles fell in love with this refined fabric.
A quirky and outdated spirit
In 1805, at the start of the industrial revolution, the success of the factory was such that the Oberkampf company became the third largest in France, employing nearly 1,300 workers. What is now called toile de Jouy is in fact only a small part of the manufacture’s productions. Oberkampf also produced polychrome fabrics whose decorations, bearing witness to the tastes of the time, were sumptuous. The technique used for the printing was, initially, the application on the pre-treated cotton canvas of wooden boards engraved and coated with dye. Ten years later, in 1770, the wooden planks were replaced by flexible copper plates, which made it possible to arrange them on cylindrical drums and thus to increase production by mechanising it. The fabrics were spread out in the meadows around the factory, several times depending on the progress of production, after the fabrics were washed in the Bièvre, then after the fixing products were applied, finally after the dyeing. Diverted, used in small touches, the toile de Jouy, brings a quirky and outdated spirit very trendy to your decoration. Today the toile de Jouy motif is becoming more democratic and is being diverted. No longer confined to furnishings, these patterns can be found on various decorative objects: plates, cushions, lighting, bed linen…