Toile de Jouy Fabric

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Toile prints were originally produced in Ireland in the mid-18th Century and quickly became popular in Britain and France. The name Toile de Jouy originated in France in the late 18th century and means “cloth from Jouy”, a town near Paris.

Christophe-Phillipe Oberkampf set up business in Jouy-en-Josas outside Paris in 1759, where he joined with engraver and designer Jean Baptiste Huet to design idyllic pastoral scenes for their fabrics.

The designs on toile de jouy vary greatly, but they all have detailed scenes scattered over the fabric. Originally the scenes were carved on woodblocks or engraved on copper then printed in only one colour (often red, black, or blue) on to a white or cream background.

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Les Traveaux de la Manufacture (The Activities of the Factory), 1783–84, designed by Jean-Baptiste Huet

 

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Toile fabrics are a fascinating record of the times both past and present, often depicted historical events, such as the pattern above c. 1784 based on two etching made shorly after the Montgolfier brothers successful ascent in hydrogen-filled hot air balloons

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Detail from a more modern toile fabric  by Ashley Wilde.

 

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Even more recently, Mike Diamond from the Beastie Boys designed Brooklyn Toile (above) as a wallpaper. Together with designer Vincent J. Ficarra he created a toile depicting his favorite Brooklyn scenes.

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 Toile has come to be used for interiors, both wallpaper and soft furnishings in this vibrant room.

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Here Toile de Jouy is being used for clothing  in this 1950’s style Bernie Dexter dress.

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Laura Ashley and the Bloomsbury Group

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The Bloomsbury set were group of artists and writers of the early 1900’s that included Virginia Woolf, her sister  Vanessa Bell, Maynard Keynes, Duncan Grant, Lytton Strachey, T S Eliot and E M Forster. They were considered both bohemian and intellectual and had a great influence on art and philosophy of the 20th century.

NPG Ax140432; Lady Ottoline Morrell; Maria Huxley (nÈe Nys); Lytton Strachey; Duncan Grant; Vanessa Bell (nÈe Stephen) by Unknown photographer

by Unknown photographer, vintage snapshot print, July 1915

Lytton Strachey, sitting, Duncan Grant standing and Vanessa Bell on right.

The group moved to Charleston, their wonderful house in Sussex in 1916, filling it with works of art and decorated with their paintings, sculptures and fabric designs.

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Laura Ashley is not someone you would immediately associate with the Bloomsbury Group, but in the 1980’s she produced a series of  fabric designs to celebrate the saving of Charleston  ‘West Wind’ and ‘Daphne & Apollo’ by duncan grant were faithfully reproduced by Laura Ashley in 1985 as well as a series of patterns some now quite familiar and widely used, other much harder to find.

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‘west wind’ (above) &  ‘Daphne & Apollo’ (below) Laura Ashley 1985, after original by Duncan Grant.

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‘Queen Mary’

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‘bloomsbury’

Further information about Vintage Fabric can be found at the links below.

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Weekly Blog – Number 5 – Laura Ashley Patchwork in Ross-on-Wye

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I recently bought a huge bag of fabric pieces from someone having a clear out. It was full of small pieces of Laura Ashley fabric from the 1970’s and 80’s. I so enjoyed sorting it all out when I got home.

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It brought back great memories of my patchwork making days when I was still at college. Living in a small flat in Ross on Wye, during the holidays I  would take my patchwork box to my nearest open space and stitch away using many of the same fabrics I found in this bundle.

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My favourite place was  The Prospect, a lovely grassy area by the church which overlooked the river Wye. The link above is to a great website about Ross on Wye which some lovely photos of the prospect and fascinating articles about the town .

Further information about Vintage Fabric can be found at the links below.

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Collier Campbell Designs

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On my treasure hunts for vintage fabrics, among my very favourite finds are the vibrant and colourful designs by Collier Campbell who I have admired for many years.

The working design partnership of sisters Susan Collier and Sarah Campbell started in the 1960’s producing work for Liberty, Heals, Habitat and many others. They founded their company together in 1979/80. Their painterly designs like works of art will never date, many can be found in the V&A archives.

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‘Bauhaus’ for Liberty of London,

an iconic 1972 design which I gather was inspired by the Gunta Stolzl tapestry which hangs in the Bauhaus archive in Berlin

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‘Kasak’ for Liberty, reminding me of log-cabin patchwork.

970575_630617090290169_347078010_nSusan Collier and Sarah Campbell were the first women to win the Duke of Edinburgh’s Designer Prize in 1984 for their ‘Six Views’ fabric collection  ‘Cote d’Azure’ shown above in deep colourway,  being one of them.

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‘Sideshow’ designed for Heals in the 1970’s

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‘Clandon’ designed for Liberty.

After Susan Collier’s  death in 2011, Sarah Campbell now works under her own name producing wonderful designs for textiles and stationery. She has a website Sarah Campbell Designs and a great blog which is regularly updated showing what a busy enthusiastic and inspiring person she is.

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For further reading and exploration of  their work the book ‘The Collier Campbell Archive, 50 years of passion in pattern’ is available to buy from Amazon and any good bookshop.

Further information about Vintage Fabric can be found at the links below.

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Vintage Jonelle Fabric from John Lewis

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The first John Lewis store was opened in London in 1864. An up market store originally selling textiles and fabric, later selling a wide variety of items for the home.

They introduced the Jonelle fabric range in 1937, since 2000 the name was dropped in favour of John Lewis. From the late 1940’s onwards they collaborated with top designers also associated with Heals, such as Lucienne Day,  Pat Albeck, Jacqueline Groag and Margaret Simeon, then in the 60’s Tessa Hagity, Danny Harrison and Thalia Perceval.

The Jonelle range, especially those from the 1950’s and 60’s have become popular and are becoming harder to find. Below is ‘daisy chain’ by Pat Albeck which was available in several colour ranges.

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Flower Waltz another popular design from the 1960’s, was printed on linen or cotton.

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Jacaranda, a big bold painterly design from the 1960’s.

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and an older 1940’s or 50’s striped floral cotton interiors fabric.

 

 

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Further information about Vintage Fabric can be found at the links below.

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What People Make with the Fabric I Sell – Leah Rose Designs Barkcloth Cushions

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Nora from Leah Rose Designs makes beautiful cushions, purses and accessories using vintage fabric and textiles. She sells them online in her Etsy shop and her Folksy shop.

She sent me a photo of some lovely cushions she made using  1950’s cotton barkcloth fabric..what a great job.

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Further information about Vintage Fabric can be found at the links below.

 

Vintage Heals Fabric from Winchester

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We called in at Winchester on the way home from a short holiday by the sea recently. What an interesting place with some beautiful buildings and a long history,  …..

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As always we searched the local shops for vintage fabric and came across ‘Winchester antiques centre’ in one of the back streets. We found treasure in the form of old curtains from Heals.. it had belonged to the lady who sold it to us. It was so good to talk to her and hear the history of the fabric. She had come back to live in London from America in 1958 and bought both lots of fabric from Heals store on Tottenham Court Road, London. We had a long chat about places we both knew in USA and train journeys we had taken..it made our minds up to visit New York  later this year..I have wanted to visit the Guggenheim museum for ages.

Here are the fabrics I bought..

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1950’s cotton interiors fabric by Peter Hall for Heals, the design is ‘verdure’ in orange and green.

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David Whitehead cotton fabric also from the 1950’s. I think the design is by Jane Daniels, though I don’t know it’s name.

Further information about Vintage Fabric can be found at the links below.

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