Jun 8, 2013

Printed French Fabrics - Toiles de Jouy - book

An excellent book to add to your library was published by Rizzoli, New York in 1989 and is entitled Printed French Fabrics - Toiles de Jouy by Josette Br√©dif.  This 184 page book is a comprehensive history of the Oberkampf factory at Jouy-en-Josas, France and includes 196 illustrations. Although this book is out-of-print, it can usually be located to buy on used book websites.
When thinking of "toiles" or "toile de Jouy," the first image that comes to mind is a cotton fabric that is printed with pastoral scenes in blue or red on a white ground. In fact, the Jouy factory produced a wide range of textiles, including hundreds of beautiful floral prints for clothing, scarves and shawls, elegant upholstery fabrics that imitated woven silk motifs, floral furnishing fabrics as well as their famous printed scenic cottons.

This well-researched and well-written book includes a history of printed textiles in France as part of its focus on the artistic and technological advances in textile manufacture made by the Oberkampf company. My favorite chapter is "The Factory in Operation" which describes the 19th-century textiles printing methods in detail with pictures of the many labor-intensive steps in the process.

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