19th Century Provençal dress "Indienne"
Fragonard Museum Grasse
More information about "Indiennes"
We call this very special pattern of cotton fabric decorated with flowers "Indiennes." They are very ancient and their history is quite interesting.
As early as 1500 colorful cotton fabrics were imported to France from India (thus the name "indienne," meaning from India). They quickly became very popular, as printed fabrics had not yet been discovered in France
By 1600, the "indienne" were widely used for dresses as well as for house linens. They became so successful and drained so much money from France, that King Louis XIV decided to forbid their purchase. However, Marseilles had the special status of being a "duty free" port, and, of course, the local
fabric industry took this opportunity to produce these so often requested printed cotton fabrics. The designs were adapted to accommodate local tastes, using bright, sunny colors, bouquets and flowers in numerous patterns. They were still called "indiennes."
Until 1910, these fabrics were used to decorate homes and to make clothes for men and women. After that, the large department stores with their industrial cotton fabrics flooded the market.
Our tablecloths are inspired by these forgotten printed cotton pieces, with some of the ancient patterns adapted to our tastes. They are colorful and bright, fresh and full of life. They will bring a glimpse of our sunny Provencal way of life to your own home.
Tablecloth in "indienne" pattern