Picking up on our toile theme, have you noticed that many toile patterns come in blue and white?
We can’t help notice and wonder if there is a correlation between blue and white porcelain and toile patterns?
When researching toile, which is simply “French” for “cloth or fabric”, Toile de Jouy is commonly used because it was the distinguishing type of patterned cloth from the House de Jouy, a fabric maker located in Jouy-en-Josas, a town in the south-west suburb of Paris.
This type of fabric was quite sought after in the mid-18th century, after being originally produced in Ireland. Toile became popular in America during the Colonial period and have remained popular ever since, firmly rooted in traditional style interior decorating.
Meanwhile, blue and white porcelain was first produced in the Henan provence of China in the 9th century. Its popularity started to flourish in the 14th century as it began to replace traditional solid white chinaware. After briefly regarded as a displacement of Chinese tradition during the Ming Dynasty, it rebounded in the 17th century and expanded into the European market. Around the same time at the height of the blue and white porcelain craze, toile patterns started to pick up on the blue and white patterning seen in this Chinese porcelain. Both used a similar pastoral theme in their patterns.
And this 18th century popular French blue and white print that is reproduced today.
At the same time blue and white China was flooding the European market, Delftware in Holland, which had its own rich history with its classic blue and white patterning of unadorned pastoral themes, was becoming more sought after, particularly after the Dutch started imitating the Chinese style in the 1630s.
Coincidentally, the English started their own version known as Willow Ware.
The English started mimicking the Delftware Chinese-style and the Chinese saw their own craze influencing other cultures, so they reproduced Dutch and English style blue and white china themselves.
What an economic circle but it brings us back to present day.
The latest issue of House Beautiful celebrates blue and white ginger jars on their cover and provides a truly informational visual history of how they’ve been used in interior design and are still popular and timeless today.
Bridging the correlation between blue and white and porcelain and pattern, you can view contemporary styles in:
• our previous post, Not Your Mama’s Toile
• Houzz describes 8 Easy ways to Bring Toile de Jouy into your Home
You can enjoy blue and white or any color toile in large and small doses. A little goes a long way.
The history is just as fascinating as the derivatives of toile designs, as seen in our Alice in Wonderland version.