Toile de Jouy: Classical Scenes for Timeless Interiors

10th February 2024

Toile De Jouy History

Toile (pronounced twahl) means cloth or canvas in French. Toile de Jouy or Toiles de Jouy are terms that refer to fabric although 'toile' alone has become synonymous with the material. It was first manufactured at a factory in Jouy-en-Josas, a village located southwest of Paris, near Versailles.

Founded in 1760 by German-born Christophe-Philippe Oberkampf (1738-1815), a textile entrepreneur, the factory site was chosen primarily because of its proximity to the clear running water of the Bièvre River. Oberkampf knew that water was a crucial element in the dyeing process. Only the highest quality goods were used in the production of the factory's printed fabrics made of cotton. This was a key reason for their success.

Toile is most commonly seen in the form of a cream or off-white fabric. Traditionally they feature detailed scenic motifs printed in a darker shade. Although, these colours can be reversed, with a light design against a dark backdrop. Typically, Toile is pastoral in nature. There are farmers at work on the land, couples strolling through the countryside or animals grazing. These designs are the repeated across the fabric.

Since their creation they have been seen on fabric for homes as well as clothing. The painterly prints have also since been reproduced on wallpaper.

Toile De JouyToile De Jouy
Toile De JouyToile De Jouy

Traditional Toile De Jouy Fabric

Toile de Jouy fabric is a classic pattern that never really goes out of style and continues to be an interior design favourite. Two of the most popular are Les Oiseaux or Chateau de Loire. They both evoke romantic scenes of Provence, and how Marie-Antoinette saw the ‘idyllic’ lives of French peasants.

Toile FabricToile Fabric
Toile Designer FabricToile Designer Fabric
Toile De JouyToile De Jouy

Toile De Jouy Wallpaper  

Toile de Jouy wallpaper is also extremely popular. The light yet detailed designs are just as much at home in town houses as they are in country cottages. They can add a romantic motif to bedrooms, whether the design is a soft style which fills up more space on the wall or sharper with detail and spaced out to add grandure to the interior. Traditionally, Toile designs have a limited palette, however, added highlights of colour can create a beautiful focal point, especially in smaller rooms.

Toile WallpaperToile Wallpaper
Lover's Toile WallpaperLover's Toile Wallpaper
Toile De Jouy WallpaperToile De Jouy Wallpaper

Toile De Jouy For Contemporary Interiors

While Toiles may have a reputation for being purely traditional, they can sit well within contemporary interiors as well. Modern designs, which tend to favour more stylised motifs and bolder colours, can be used to create feature walls or as playful accents in the form of scatter cushions

Blue Modern Toile Wallpaper Blue Modern Toile Wallpaper
Singapur WallpaperSingapur Wallpaper

You Might Also Enjoy Reading...

History of Damask History of Damask

The History of Damask Wallpaper

Damask wallpaper is one of the best known historical wallpaper patterns and continues to grow in popularity. Read about how damask patterns have evolved and why they're here to stay...

Toile De Jouy Fabric IdeasToile De Jouy Fabric Ideas

The Stylish French Fabric: Toile de Jouy

French toile fabric or Toile de Jouy translates to 'cloth from Jouy-en-Josas'. It's a classic print which continues in popularity, year in and year out. Learn about the different types of Toile fabric and how to style it in your home...