Toile de Jouy, or simply, "toile," refers to a type of French cloth that essentially means "cloth." The designs on these cotton fabrics are distinctive and immediately recognisable despite their many colour variations and themes. Early toile of the 1760s depicted pastoral scenes that were printed from hand-drawn etchings on wood blocks. Neutral-coloured fabrics work well with toile, which can be overly ornate if used to excess.
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Geometric and Floral Fabrics
Geometric and/or floral fabrics in the same colour scheme as toile can make for an interesting mix of patterns in a room. The toile will add a touch of the whimsical to offset the more formalistic geometrics or echo the florals that are in the toile itself. However, be careful not to overdo it since too much of any of these patterns together can produce a "busy" effect. Keeping the patterns in the same colour family will help unify them.
When applied to walls, toile can be overwhelming if it is also extended to window treatments. To prevent toile burnout, use a striped fabric for valances and curtains that repeat the hues and undertones of the colours in the toile. This will provide continuity without over-saturating a room with too much toile.
While a checked fabric may not seem like a likely candidate as a match for toile, it can work in a supporting role if used as the lining of toile curtains by bringing out toile's depth. Because it is not immediately visible, it will not clash outright with the toile. This also works best if the toile's colour is not too overbearing to begin with, such as a classic blue on cream toile. Further, if the checks are used in an inconspicuous manner, such as for the welting of a drapery's cornice, they can enhance the overall look of the toile by providing visual variation.
Toile in a Different Color
Toile can work with toile to break up the monotony of a continuous neutral-toned toile, such as brown on cream toile. Toile in a slightly brighter colour, such as a red toile coverlet or bathroom curtain, can punctuate the landscape with periodic breaks for the eyes.
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