This post is dedicated to red toile, a traditional and timeless classic that, even though it's popularity ebbs at times, still manages to find it's way into modern homes. The pattern usually consists of a white or off-white background and a repeated red pattern generally depicting a pastoral theme such as a couple having a picnic and frolicking in the countryside or even a lovely floral design.
I have gathered some wonderful examples of how beautifully red toile can be incorporated into interior spaces, but first how about a history lesson in how this red and cream print set about it's household domination as far back as the 1700's.
Toiles de Jouy, often shortened to toile (pronounced twall), is that wonderful printed fabric that gives a room an immediate French look. Toile is the french word for linen cloth or canvas and is the creation of Christophe Phillippe Oberkamp of Switzerland. After learning the trade from his father Oberkamp set out for Paris at the age of 20 in 1758. Over a period of a few years he formed a partnership with Jean Baptise Heut and set up a factory for manufacturing printed cotton. The town of Jouy-en-Josas (hence toile de Jouy) was chosen because of the clean water of the Bievre river.
In the 1770's the toile of Jouy grew increasingly popular and the company grew very successful. The pattern portion consists of a single color, most often black, red, or blue. In 1781 the factory was visited by Marie Antoinette and it became supported by the French monarchy in order to compete against the imported fabrics which had all but ruined the French fabric industry.
Today, fabric designers take great liberties with those old patterns and print toile patterns on any color that looks good. However red toile is still an iconic fabric and whether you love it or hate it, its popularity shows no sign of waning.
Many people think it old fashioned, but red toile has a way of growing on you if used in a way that doesn't come across as too fussy.
An English interior with a subtle use of red toile. I love it on the folding screen!
Visit any type of interior furnishings or fabric store and it's a sure thing there will be some version of red toile. It has become a staple in home decor and even in the fashion industry.
Abundance and variety of fabrics is characteristic of the French home. Red toile is perfectly suited for many French fabrics like jacquard and provencial linens.
Beautiful red toile settee with canopy.This pattern looks lovely when combined with checks, plaids, or stripes.
The classic styling of red Toile pillows and canopy curtains featuring beautiful birds brings an aristocratic French feel to this bedroom.
Since toile plays well with other fabrics, it is easy to have fun layering and mixing it up a bit.
French style interiors have grown in popularity with emphasis on unique charm and rustic beauty. Red toile fabrics are good choices for this type of interior.
Wallpaper in a red toile design is another popular way to add a French feel.
I adore this red toile de Jouy with a nautical design.
What an amazing large scale red toile!
These large-patterned fabrics were used to decorate entire rooms, including walls, draperies, cornices, and upholstery!
Toile does tend toward the feminine but as you can see in this picture, the lovely red toile covered chair and window treatment accentuate the room without making it fussy.
A pretty red toile pattern suggesting a farm scene.
The bath is an excellent place to start if you want to add some red toile Frenchness to your space.
An Elissa Cullman red toile bedroom.
A classic of interior design, versatile and playful red toile can be formal, shabby chic, or tailored. It's just a fabric that people throughout the centuries have fancied.
With some red toile you can instantly create a rustic room reminiscent of rural Provence.
This red toile pattern is a perfect example of the original 1760's patterns which usually depicted pastoral scenes of the French countryside,
while this floral toile fabric features large, prominent flowers and birds. Used for drapery or upholstery these red toiles will look stunning in your home.
I love to see red toile on accent pieces.....
and focal points.
You can even find the iconic red toile design on dishes.
These plates, cups, and saucers are transferwear that evoke the look of red toile.
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This blog post was published by Lisa Farmer