My First Toile
.... was not really an antique Toile de Jouy. It was a soft, delicate Toile pattern on my daughter's baby bonnet. I loved it so much on her that I still have it today. It matches her delicate pale blue eyes. I had it hanging on an antique gesso mirror, and here it is touched by a mid-1800s antique French homespun linen, which I hung as a curtain. The tight weave of the antique linen is still loose enough to let the morning sun filter through.
Soft Antique French Pastoral Fabric
This is one of the most unusual antique French Pastoral fabrics I have seen. Both the pattern and the fabric have an ethereal softness. A client of mine loved it so much that we had it made into custom pillows for her. We accented it with indigo striped antique French grain sack fabric.
My (Present) Favorite Antique French Toile
Presently, my favorite Toile de Jouy is a purple French provincial scene of peasants at a picnic. There is endless detail on these pieces, which are from a French daybed and bolster pillow.
Look at the artwork that went into creating this Toile de Jouy. Every line you see, (and there are tens of thousands), was hand carved into wood to create this pattern. Isn't it amazing that a French woman had this on her bed in the late 1800s, and now her treasure is treasured again by us?
I love the "chien" who is counter-surfing at the picnic. Not unlike my "chien" Lily.
Lily on Toile (with remote).
French Art Nouveau Fabric
Look at this stunning piece. This is turn of the last century French, from the Art Nouveau period. The colors in this piece are "magnifique." It's such a light weight, airy piece. I can just picture it floating in the breeze over a window in the summer.
|I think I might just have saved the best for last... What do you think?|
All these antique French fabrics, whether from bedding, curtains or upholstery, were made from hand woven fabrics, and were all hand-dyed. The process was a work of ART. An artisan would carve a design in many, many blocks or rollers: one for each color and pattern area. Each color was printed separately. I am always amazed at the work and the level of detail that went into making each piece of cloth. I feel a special connection to the women of France from the last century when I look at my collected pieces. I love to make pillows, throws, curtains and bedding from them today so that I can share them with you, and you can appreciate them in your home.
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