Thursday, February 7, 2013

Guest Post from Decorque - Upcoming Trend: Toile du Jouy

Hello all! We are delighted to be guest blogging on the wonderful Rosie Simons blog today, and thought we’d share with you a surface pattern trend that has been with us for centuries, but is making it’s way back into certain elements of design, Toiles!

A toile is a fabric with detailed figural and scenic designs, usually in a monochromatic colour scheme. The word Toile means "cloth" and Jouy refers to the village near Versailles where most of the famous French toiles were produced. Hardly any of the designs were original as they were taken from books and engravings. They really are a "picture story" on fabric, giving us a glimpse into the life of the time.

Today we have brought them to life again, not only giving the old designs a fresh new look and use, but designing our own showing twenty first century city scenes and landmarks. The distinctive toile prints of Timorous Beasties, include London scenes with the now iconic Gherkin Building and less prominent Tower Bridge, all available on wallpaper and fabric. I think the monochrome colours work to the toile's advantage, making it versatile, and easy to coordinate into modern life, and the constant changing colour schemes of fashion.

It is interesting to see, how they are being used on all manner of media nowadays, from wellies to lampshades and stationery on Society6. My personal favourite is the way Anthropologie have mixed the toile design with a bold, graphic edge of colour to make modern crockery. Even Spoonflower held a competition last month to submit a Murder Mystery Toile – some of the designs were amazing, and our moodboard features the winner’s design, entitled Toile Noir by Marnie Long and shows scenes of Paris in black and cream.

Interestingly, there are several pre-Decorque toiles that were designed a few years ago by our Head Designer Lesley Stevens that we thought illustrate how a toile can be interpreted in a modern way! The grey toile is a typical business workday in a city. A plane, a train commute, the walk to work, a meeting in the office and a break in the park. All everyday events or occurrences. This was designed as a wallpaper backdrop for a retail men's department to promote the typical formal business suit. Another modern twist was to use animals in their habitat, underwater scenes and an owl in its wildlife setting, giving the over all effect of a toile but with less formal subjects.

Decorque says pattern!

From the quintessentially English roses and birds to the exotic parrots, toucans and hummingbirds. Mixing the hand drawn and painted with Illustrator and Photoshop we like to think we bring something new - a creative touch - to our home-ware products.

The main collection is our range of cork placemats, table mats and coasters. What makes us different? We print digitally on cork, which is the only successful way of producing the highly detailed pattern and extensive colour palette of our own unique designs. The end product is amazing, carefully crafted to retain the warm tactile quality and natural appearance of the cork. It is eco-friendly, hard wearing, heat resistant and just such a practical natural product, read more here, Why Cork?

We love the idea of not just printing on cork but using it as an element of design throughout our other ranges of art prints and stationery. From being printed on cork, to cork being printed on paper!

If you haven't guessed yet, our name comes from a fusion of the words Decor and Cork, but with a twist - Corque.

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