Textiles III



Type of fibre: Made from the natural fibre of cotton or linen.

How is it manufactured: Toile de Jouy involves a cotton or linen fibre being spun into a thread which is then woven together. Toile de Jouy is characterised by the repeated patterns and imagery that is imprinted onto this fabric. The pattern is most commonly printed in a singular bold colour whilst the background is a white or pale cream colour.

Toile de Jouy became popular in Britain and France in the mid 18th century.  The word ‘toile’ in fact mean canvas in French.

Common use in interior design: Most often used in upholstery, cushions as well as décor pieces like bed covers and tablecloths. Toile de Jouy is synonymous with country or traditional style interiors.

Fabric Care: Toile de Jouy should be handwashed in cold water as to not ruin or smudge the printed patterns.



Type of fibre: A natural fibre that comes from the ‘flax plant’.

How is it manufactured: The flax plant is pulled from the ground and the seeds are removed. The fibres are then separated and combed into thin strands. The longest pieces of yarn will then be spun and reeled onto a bobbin, which can eventually be woven into linen union fabric.

Linen union is one of the oldest produced textile fabrics going back as long as 36,000 years ago. Due to its expensive and labour intensive production, 100% linen is not as frequent in current day textile manufacturing,

Common use in interior design: Linen is very absorbent making it a suitable fabric for hot climates and can be used as bed sheets, pillow cases and blankets in the summer. A very strong and durable fabric, linen union is resistant to damage so it used for seating upholstery, napkins and table runners. As it is made from natural fibres it can take dye well so is available in a wide range of colours.
Often used for window treatments it is a multipurpose fabric seen in country, traditional and modern interiors. However Linen union has low elasticity and can break if folded over and over again as well as wrinkle quite easily.

Fabric Care: To avoid shrinkage it is best to wash linen union in cold water on a hand wash, and it often needs to be ironed to get rid of any wrinkles after washing.



Type of fibre: Made from cotton or a cotton blend natural fibre.

How is it manufactured: Ticking is made from a cotton weave in which the main stripe will be a very closely woven in a tight thick yarn twill, whilst the other stripe woven will be the ‘filling’ usually in a plain white or natural colour.

Common use in interior design: Ticking is characterised by its stripped pattern often used for bedding, pillows, quilts, table cloths and curtains. Due to the tightly woven material, Ticking has a thicker density and is very hard wearing making it a suitable fabric for furniture upholstery, footstools and headboards. The stripped pattern means Ticking is commonly used in country style or nautical inspired interiors as it has a fresh, fun and playful appearance.

Fabric Care: To prevent shrinkage it is usually recommend to dry clean Ticking. You can dab stains or marks with warm water and a mild cleaning product if necessary.



Type of fibre: Voile can be constructed from 100% cotton making it a natural fibre, but is also made with synthetic fibres such as polyester and viscose which are popular in modern day as they greater durability.

How is it manufactured: Voile is produced from twisted yarns – two singles yarns twisted collectively in the same direction. These are called a ‘two fold yarn’ and generates a stronger yarn that can be woven together to create a voile fabric.

Common use in interior design: Voile is French for ‘veil’ and is a lightweight, soft, sheer fabric that is often used for privacy window treatments such as curtains and window dressing. Due to the breathable fabric it is utilised in tropical climates for bed canopies and net curtains. Available in a wide range of patterns and colours Voile is a versatile choice for interior spaces. However it is also very delicate and the tight weave has no elasticity so will crease fairly easily.

Fabric Care: Handwash carefully and lay flat to dry naturally. You may need to iron out wrinkles after washing.



Type of fibre: Can be made with natural fibres such as cotton and wool, but is also produced with synthetic fibres.

How is it manufactured: Cotton plants are picked, de-tangled with the carding process and then subject to combing. These threads are then stretched again with an additional carding process and wound onto roving bobbins (roving ones are used with different cotton based fabrics). This is then spun onto yarns and woven on an industrial loom with evenly spun warps and wefts.

Originally from Bangladesh as far back as the 9th century, it wasn’t until the 18th century when Europeans could travel and they discovered Muslin that the popularity of the fabric rose.

Common use in interior design: Often used for curtains and drapery due to its inexpensive and lightweight material. Muslin can be available in a wide range of weights from delicate to thick, making it a very versatile fabric and it also can be dyed any colour and patterned by screen printing. Is also used for bed lining, slip covers and sheets as well as lighting shades.

Fabric Care: Handwash carefully and lay flat to dry naturally. You may need to iron out wrinkles after washing.



Type of fibre: Natural cotton fibres.

How is it manufactured: Calico originates from India as far back as the 12th century and is constructed the same way as cotton cloth. The fibres are subject to carding and combing removing imperfections and aligning the threads. They are then spun into yarns and tightly woven with weft threads over and under a set of warp threads. Calico is distinguished from cotton as it is left in its raw unbleached state and there are often dots of cotton seeds visible on the rustic fabric.

Common use in interior design: An inexpensive material that can be easily dyed multiple colours and is available with many printed or painted patterns. Mostly used for bed linens, quilts and curtains.

Fabric Care: You can spot clean marks with a damp cloth, otherwise handwash in cold temperatures is best, but it is important to be careful as Calico is suspectable to shrinkage.



Type of fibre: A natural fibre from the manes and tails of horses.

How is it manufactured: Originally discovered as a suitable fabric in the middle of the 18th century in France. A simple manufacturing process, the hair is woven together with wefts being the horsehair and the warps from another fibre such as cotton or silk. The result is a thick, strong and shiny textile that looks and feels lustrous.

Common use in interior design:  A material that can easily be dyed it is suitable for heavy traffic usage and is easily maintained. Horsehair fabric is often slimline due the short fibre lengths, so is mostly used for smaller items such as chairs or stool upholstery (can also be used as upholstery stuffing). Has a more rustic and country ‘look’ within interior spaces.

Fabric Care: You can brush and vacuum horsehair and dry cleaning is recommended but not at high temperatures due to the possibility of discoloration and shrinkage as it is an absorbent fabric.



Type of fibre: Originally constructed from natural fibres such as cotton, linen and silk, but most often made from cotton and synthetic fibres.

How is it manufactured: Cotton threads are made from the fibres going through the carding and combing processes. These threads are then looped and twisted around one another forming open construct complex patterns.

Lace originally appeared in the 16th century but most often used for clothing, it was later in this century that it began used as decoration within interiors as a symbol of wealth and status.

Common use in interior design: A beautiful delicate textile used for curtain detailing or sheer curtains, drapery and cushions. Has a more feminine design aesthetic, but machine-made contemporary patterns have made it a more versatile fabric.

Fabric Care: A very delicate fabric is is best to hand wash lace in cold water with a mild cleaning product and let it dry naturally.