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Toile - Isn't It Romantic?

I always had a fascination with toile, ever since I was very young. I grew up with a mother who was an interior decorator, who introduced it to me. Because of this, one of my ‘tween’ room makeovers, was done in blue toile and gingham (another love of mine). I particularly love toile in small bathrooms, since it can be dramatic. My bathroom in my own home, was done up in toile. But, the past years had taken its toll in there, coupled with finding myself itching for a change of environment, and so began the renovation...

The first time it was pale, and a French countryside theme (before picture below, at one time I even had a matching shower curtain)...

and now I am heavy on black, a touch of neon, with an Asian theme...and I even did the ceiling!

The History of Toile

Toile is the name of a fabric that entered the English language around the 16th century from a French  word meaning "linen cloth" or "canvas", particularly cloth or canvas for painting on. Toiles were originally produced in Ireland in the mid-18th Century and quickly became popular in Britain and France. The term, Toile de Jouy, originated in France in the late 18th century. In the French language, the phrase literally means "cloth from Jouy-en-Josas", a town of north-central France

Toile de Jouy, sometimes abbreviated to simply "toile", is a type of decorating pattern consisting of a usually white or off-white background on which a repeated pattern depicting a fairly complex scene, generally of a pastoral theme such as (for example) a couple having a picnic by a lake. Toiles also often consist of an arrangement of flowers. The pattern portion consists of a single color.

(History from wikipedia)

Toile at IKEA

We have a new textile series in stores now, that incorporates toile, and it is called EMMIE.

And this is how the IKEA designers, went about creating it:

Think romance. Imagine you’re in an Eng­lish garden at the end of the 19th century. Then transport yourself to a museum in France, a factory in Turkey and a furniture manufacturer in Sweden. That gives you EMMIE, a new textile collection from IKEA.

Located in Mulhouse, France, Musée de l’Impression sur Étoffes houses a col­lection of more than six million printed textile samples. It’s where we went to find authentic patterns from the 19th century that would form the base for the majority of the new EMMIE textile collection. High on our wish list were detailed patterns in soft colours with a light, romantic feeling. After looking at hundreds of patterns, we chose a few to bring with us to a fac­tory in Turkey that has one of the most modern textile printers in the world. Now we had a dilemma – how do we re­produce patterns created in the 19th with 21st century printing technology?

Well, we had to adapt the patterns to suit the technology. With the factory’s experts, all the colour samples on hand and the product developers in place, we worked day and night to reproduce the patterns and give them just the right colours. It was quite a meticulous job, and every detail was examined under a magni­fying glass – directly on the factory floor.

We continued to work with the pat­terns when we returned to our offices in Älmhult, and the authentic floral patterns became EMMIE SÖT quilt cover, EMMIE KVIST curtain, EMMIE STRÅ cushion and EMMIE PÄRLA rug, among others. The patterns were joined by checks and stripes in delicate colours, all applied to linen, cotton, polyester, nylon, wool and lyocell. All are materials that feel good against the skin, just as sheets, quilt covers, cushions, blankets and rugs should feel. Real materi­als with real 19th century patterns – that’s EMMIE.

Now with Spring being practically around the corner, wouldn’t EMMIE be a great way to usher it in? I think so!
Hmm…I can practically smell the roses...


#bedroom #emmie #toile #Before & After #Tips & Ideas

Comments (7)

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  • I'm interested in the tan plaid curtains, is that fabric by the yard or ready made curtains? Thanks

    By tracigoodfellow on 2/14/2012 flag

  • @tracigoodfellow , thanks for your interest! yes, these curtains are made from fabric. The large plaid is called EMMIE RAND, and the stripe is called BERTA RUTA. They are available in-store. christine

    By Christine Soner on 2/15/2012 flag

  • Love the HOME photos - interesting to see Ikea and no Ikea inspiration !

    By farraym on 2/16/2012 flag

  • LOVE the black and white in the bathroom pics! Was never much of a fan until a few years ago when I saw that a friend had a sheet set that was done in a Tom of Finland toile pattern! Awesome! Prefer black and white over other color combos. I feel it works best when it's mixed in with other design styles, as your pics show. Asian accents work fab with it! Great post Christine.

    By drp30 on 2/16/2012 flag

  • Great blog entry, SO enjoyed this and would love hearing more from you. We share a lot of the same style aesthetic-I, like you, have always had an affinity for toile and gingham as they are classic and versatile. I look forward to delving more into the aforementioned products as I have some projects currently underway!

    By LOULALIU on 2/17/2012 flag

  • I love toile, and I love love LOVE the Emmie line! I'd love to see the gray or blue pattern as a sheet set. Also, the SCAD's Working Class Studio ( has a line of kitchen accessories with a modern take on the style, featuring local scenes from Savannah. Their products overall to be fresh and affordable, and get along quite nicely with Ikea furnishings and decor.

    By Lokea on 2/21/2012 flag

  • What a perfect bathroom- like a bed and breakfast in London- I can just take the tea and scones! :-)

    By FrancescaMMGood on 8/15/2012 flag