This French word for "linen cloth" or "canvas" originated from the term "toile de Jouy" beginning in the late 18th century. Though widely associated with old Parisian culture, many people don't know that toile was actually first produced in Ireland in the mid 18th century before becoming popular in Britain and France. Christophe-Philippe Oberkampf is the man responsible for the shift, as he founded the royal manufacture of printed cotton in the French commune Jouy-en-Josas in 1760. The original method of printing was from woodblocks alone but transitioned to copperplates after 1770. Some English printed cotton expanded on this design concept and experienced a parallel development reaching manufacturing standards similar to those at the factory in Jouy. Oberkampf continued to manufacture the textile there as it gained popularity, eventually allowing it to spread across the rest of Europe. This allowed more and more people to have beautiful scenic and toile wallpaper in their homes.
Oberkampf collaborated with designer Jean-Baptiste Huet to create several recognizable, historical patterns still in circulation today. The initial designs were simple, single-color prints on a white background. They often featured illustrations of pastoral scenes from the French countryside, when nature and farm life were much more prevalent in the everyday routine. Some even drew reference from European mythology and included beautiful, fantastical creatures. Over time, the subject matter has of course evolved, but Huet's classic, signature style still sets the precedent for toile wallcoverings today. You can see inspiration from Huet's style in samples from our large collection of scenic and toile wallpaper. Give your space a tasteful upgrade with a historical accent.
If you have any questions about our selection of scenic wallcoverings and toile wallpapers, please feel free to reach out to us. We would be more than happy to assist you.