The Joy of Toile

by Lisa on February 20, 2012

York Wallcovering

For some time now, I have had a fascination with Toile fabrics.  The detail in these pastoral scenes depicting people, nature and animals reminds me of fine etchings, relying on small textural marks, strokes and shading to create this ornate imagery.

Pronounced ‘twal’, the term is an abbreviated form of the phase ‘Toile de Jouy’ which means “cloth from Jouy de Josas”, a town in north-central France.  While Toiles originated in mid-18th Century Ireland, they soon became most popular in both Britain and France.  Toiles also gained popularity during the Colonial Era in the U.S. as a home interior fabrication.

The most traditional Toiles are a 1-color print of red, black or blue on a white or cream background and the most popular usage of the print is in home decor: wallcoverings and fabrics used in curtains, upholstery and accessories.  The print’s usage has also evolved into fashion and accessory design which I find very fresh and pretty.

A traditional historic red toile fabric

Lovely use of toile in home decor. Image via

Pierre Duex Pillows. Similar available here

50′s Toile print circle skirt dress. Image via

Tamara Henriques Wellies available here

Three Little Ducks dress available here

Fables by Barrie swimsuit available here

I hope you have enjoyed this little walk down Toile-lane.  Do you like Toiles in home decor and/or fashion?

Leave a Comment

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Lori Gosselin February 20, 2012 at 6:38 pm

So Pretty Lisa! I’m sending this to my sister-in-law who loves Toile (and in fact taught me how to pronounce the word ;-)


alyson February 21, 2012 at 4:18 pm

that bathing suit is the cutest thing ever!


Heather February 26, 2012 at 2:41 am

I adore toile. Can’t remember a time when I didn’t. A few years ago Martha Stewart did a whole thing on toile and I still have the article somewhere.

I like toile in home decor as much as I like it in clothing, having said that I’m sorry to say I have neither in my home. One day perhaps!


Lisa March 2, 2012 at 4:00 pm

Heather, It’s funny. I don’t have any toile in my home either, but I love it. I like so many different styles of home decor, I could decorate a mansion…what fun that would be. One can dream……


DressCode:HighFashion March 2, 2012 at 11:12 am


congrats on being voted into this week`s Links a la Mode!

Have a nice weekend.

Best, Jenny


Lisa March 2, 2012 at 3:52 pm

Thanks so much Jenny!!!!


Cojo March 2, 2012 at 4:09 pm

I’ve always been a fan of toile upholstery, and it’s fun seeing the fabric in other uses. I LOVE the toile swimsuit! What an informative and interesting post.


Lisa March 2, 2012 at 6:43 pm

Thank you for stopping by and your comment. The swimsuit is my favorite too. Love what you are doing with feathers….very nice!!


Miss Viki Secrets March 2, 2012 at 5:53 pm

I got inspired by your post :) Love the fine patterns too :)


Lisa March 2, 2012 at 6:41 pm

Thank you so much!! I am honored.


Pamada March 2, 2012 at 6:53 pm

oohh…. wow i’d seen this on furniture before but not really on clothing.. that 50′s dress is srsly gorgeous!!


Simone March 3, 2012 at 5:26 pm

The fabric is amazing! I think I will put up some Toile wallpaper whilst renovating my bathroom. I saw it in a magazine and it looks just so so pretty!


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