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March 9, 2012

Toile is Divine

Toile fabric has been documented back to the 16th century in England and is derived from the French word meaning "linen cloth" or "canvas" for painting on.

The word toile can refer to the fabric or a type of surface decoration.  Toile de Jouy, usually abbreviated to simply "toile", literally means "cloth from Jouy-en-Josas", a town in north-central France.   Toile fabric features a decorative pattern in one main color with a (usually) white or off-white background.  

Popular toile patterns can depict complex pastoral scenes but almost always consist of a single color - most often black, dark red, or blue.  Green, browns, and magenta toile patterns are less common.

Toiles were very popular in the American Colonies during the 17th and 18th centuries and are highly associated with preservationist towns and historical areas such as Colonial Williamsburg.

In 1976, during the United States' Bicentennial celebration, 
toile designs made a resurgence and are still popular today.

Toile is one of the most easily recognizable fabric designs 
and conveys a sense of tradition, history and warmth.
Toile accent pillows can be found online from $19 at Etsy to $395 at JCovington
  Would your decor benefit from the addition of a little toile?

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