French & traditional fabrics
The beauty and richness of French fabrics make them one of the most important elements in a French provincial home. Visit Christophe Living for:
- French toiles
- French printed fabrics
- French linens
- Stripes and small patterns
- Traditional damasks
- Louis floral fabrics
Damasks & baroque patterns
From the richness of the Italian baroque the French borrowed the elaborate damask fabrics with acanthus leaves and other classical motifs. These can be rendered in silk or thicker fibre compositions for upholstery. Some have been modernised and can even be used in a more modern French setting. Their traditional elegance immediately gives that grand French quality to any room.
Louis floral jacquard fabrics
During the Louis XV period beautiful floral patterns became in vogue. And during the 18th century Joseph-Marie Jacquard invented the loom that allowed really intricate patterns to be woven. We have a fine collection of these floral fabrics in all the classical French Louis colours such as teal, cream and gold.
These floral fabrics with their embroidered look are perfect for a classic French salon.
French toile de Jouy
Another typical French printed fabric is the Jouy prints, usually printed on cotton or linen. The name comes from the town of Jouy near Versailles where these were first printed in 1760. These prints feature landscapes and figures in bucolic settings, and they sometimes also feature an artist’s impression of exotic countries and their inhabitants.
There is an undeniable charm about them that gives that quintessential French country quality to any room setting. They are perfect for bedrooms, country salons and children’s rooms.
During the Louis XVI period the neoclassical motifs of ancient Greece and Rome were brought to life again. The Louis style has by many been considered the epitome of elegance, which developed as a reaction to the elaborate styles that preceded it. With its more geometrical classical elements, restrained laurel motifs and fine lines, it elevates any décor to a refined sophistication while still giving it that light French touch.
Almost a story from rags to riches, the humble linen has made a resurgence into the luxury interior. Offered now either as plain or embroidered, or even with a damask pattern, its slightly coarse texture has appealed to desire for a more natural and ecological sensitivity. Some are finely woven in a myriad of colours while others have thick and softened fibres that have a great textural feel.
Using a plain grey linen on say a gilded Louis XVI armchair creates a wonderful, dynamic contrast that highlights the elegance of one and the earthiness of the other.
English country fabrics
Though rivals in many areas, the English fabrics have been very popular in French interiors, and one cannot exclude them when talking about French interiors. The English love of gardens has motivated them to create great floral fabrics. The regency stripe fabrics have also been a great success in elegant classical interiors.
Hand painted fabrics
There are times and special rooms that warrant a totally unique fabric designed especially for that project. That is why we now provide a hand painted fabric service, where we develop a unique design and colour scheme and then hand paint it on a neutral fabric base. This really allows us to create a perfect match and bring an artistic quality to a sofa, chair or curtain. Though time consuming this process is surprisingly good value when compared to many high-end fabrics.
We can also use modern print technology to have a roll of fabric printed with any design.
How we design with fabrics
The selection of fabrics for an interior is really a very personal process. We work closely together with the vision of the client and present a number of options from our huge fabric range. We then refine this and compare it with all the other decorative elements, colours and textures in that room, gradually coming to a range that works all together with the wall colours, floors, rugs and wall art, so that each element speaks to each other harmoniously. Fabrics are often the connective element in an interior that brings it together as whole.