The History of French Fabric

In honor of today being Bastille Day, the French National Day, we decided to continue our fabrics from around the world series to France. Fabrics have played an important role in French history.  It was a French inventor, Joseph-Marie Jacquard (1752–1834), who in 1801 introduced a mechanism used in aiding the creation of woven patterned textiles. This mechanism replaced the drawloom system of pattern control, which was time consuming. Jacquard’s invention also increased the speed of which complex patterns could be created and eliminated the need for a weaver’s assistant.

In the mid 1800s, France forged ahead as the leader of costume and interior textiles. Three French museums were founded between 1850-1870 to help inspire the textile design community- the Musée Historique des Tissus in Lyon, Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, and Musée de l’Impression sur Étoffes in Mulhouse (in the cotton-printing center of Alsace).

One of the most popular fabrics to come out of France is Toile. Toile de Jouy depictes beautiful scenes of the French countryside. And some of today’s toiles from the top manufacturers like Scalamandre have very finely detailed drawings similar to the original Toile de Jouy. The French mastered this look beautifully which is apparent in this 18th Century monochromatic French textile.

18th Century French Textile

The theme is still relevant today, as you can see from this Scalamandre Fabric below.

Scalamandre Hunt Party Fabric available at DecoratorsBest

The French fabric is beautifully displayed in the 18th Century toile bedcovering.

18th Century French Toile Bedcovering

A piece of 18th Century Toile de Jouy

Similar to the charming toile fragment is Scalamandre’s Cupido fabric.

Scalamandre Cupido Fabric Available at DecoratorsBest

Silk brocade, which the French also perfected, is magnificently executed detail and weaving.

18th Century French Brocade

This Fabricut brocade fabric below also has lovely details and beautiful patterning.

Fabricut Belle Epoque Fabric available at DecoratorsBest

If you are looking for a little French on this Bastille Day visit DecoratorsBest online and take a look at all of our French fabrics available.

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