Toile: Print vs. Woven

The use of toile patterns in design has been a constant since the mid 1700’s, however, the use of toiles experiences surges in popularity from time to time. A toile, or more specifically a Toile de Jouy, literally means “cloth from Jouy” located just outside of Paris. 

 An example of a traditional toile. This piece actually came from a historic document in a museum.

An example of a traditional toile. This piece actually came from a historic document in a museum.

In 1759 Christophe – Philippe Oberkampf began printing pastoral scenes on cotton fabric. The popularity of the fabrics grew. The motifs printed not only included idealized landscapes or floral designs, but expanded to pictorial representations of historical events and scenes with a political message such as sailing ships or colonial expansion. With the gain in popularity the printing of toile patterns was no longer confined to France, England, and the United States, as other countries began printing their versions of toile designs.

Traditionally, a toile has a white or very light ground with the pattern printed in blue, black, red, or even green but there may be variations. Wallpapers are even printed with toile patterns as well. 

Although a toile is generally printed on fabric, the pattern can also be woven. This season we have a botanical toile being offered in our Revolution line. So why use a woven toile instead of a printed toile? Generally, a woven design can withstand heavier use than a design printed on top of fabric. A woven design is integral to the fabric. In addition to durability, our Revolution woven toile is bleach cleanable making it family friendly.

 Revolution pattern,  Estate

Revolution pattern, Estate