Twenty-First Century Toile

 

Brooklyn Toile (detail) by Flavor Paper

Brooklyn Toile (detail) by Flavor Paper

Modern interpretations of Toile de Jouy have been cropping up in the past couple of years.  No scenes of fair maidens in Arcadian splendor or bucolic bovines here! These twisted takes feature spying on China, a mugging, children jumping rope in Harlem, a hot dog vendor and smashed-up derby cars – to name a few. Real life, in its everyday nitty gritty. These tempting toiles are attractive and offer a bit of a hidden present – you have to look at them closely to get it.  By not doing so, they fade into a romantic scheme of being just another toile.

Toile de Jouy, or simply known as ‘toile’, was popularized in France after the ban on imported cotton from India was lifted in 1759. For the first decade, toile was printed using woodblocks on cotton and tended to be simple or geometric. However, in 1770 the engraved copperplate technique was introduced to France from the British Isles, allowing for fine detailing and larger patterns.  A door was opened for a wide possibility of designs.  Themes of the pastoral countryside, the exotic Orient, and historical firsts, such as hot-air ballooning were fashionable.

Trendy, sad, or humorous, these examples mirror life today more realistically. Check out these twenty-first century toile favorites:

Harlem Toile by Sheila Bridges

Harlem Toile by Sheila Bridges

New York Toile by Timorous Beasties

New York Toile by Timorous Beasties

London Toile by Timorous Beasties

London Toile by Timorous Beasties

Glasgow Toile by Timorous Beasties

Glasgow Toile by Timorous Beasties

Chinatown Toile by Timorous Beasties

Chinatown Toile by Timorous Beasties

Toile de Derby by Flat Vernacular

Toile de Derby by Flat Vernacular

Custom Toile for Alison Restaurant NYC by Flat Vernacular

Custom Toile for Alison Restaurant NYC by Flat Vernacular

Brooklyn Toile by Flavor Paper, design by Mike Diamond

Brooklyn Toile by Flavor Paper, design by Mike Diamond

Brooklyn Toile by Flavor Paper

Brooklyn Toile by Flavor Paper

Suburbs Taking Over Mt. Rushmore by Jessica Smith

Suburbs Taking Over Mt. Rushmore by Jessica Smith

Spying on China by Jessica Smith

Spying on China by Jessica Smith

Trash Day by Jessica Smith

Trash Day by Jessica Smith

South Beach Toile by Jessica Smith

South Beach Toile by Jessica Smith

Links:

Timorous Beasties

Sheila Bridges

Flavor Paper

Jessica Smith/Domestic Element

Flat Vernacular

Wren

Comments

  1. What can I say. It’s far from the tradtional toile. Not sure If I like it or not? I do like some of the colors!

  2. These fabrics are fascinating. I particularly love Brooklyn toile for the creamy background and bold design. Lovers of toile may also enjoy some of the sample bedposts that we’ve painted in the shop…inspired by designer fabrics. We invite you to scroll through Our Portfolio to see several half-scale examples of tall bedposts that would make for a true sanctuary at the end of the day! http://www.stephenplaud.com/pages/our-portfolio

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