Thursday, September 11, 2014

St Tyl's move

René Magritte
Les mémoires d'un saint
I'm moving St Tyl over to my first blog Le style et la matière.

I hope you will meet with me there.
Many topics concerning textiles over-flow into other domaines. This merging of the two blogs will permit me to be more playful and touch on other topics while continuing to explore textiles with all  the readers and fellow bloggers I appreciate so much.

And now, everything will be in one place -

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Hair of the Beast(s): Angora

via skiourophilia
Jean Honoré Fragonard and Marguerite Gérard
Le chat Angora 1783

 The painting was the collaborative effort of two artists.
"Marguerite Gérard and Jean-Honoré Fragonard worked so closely together – sharing a studio in the Louvre – that the paintings of  one are occasionally attributed to the other. For a long time Gérard, who was Fragonard’s sister-in-law and pupil, was thought to be the sole painter of this work, but it is now considered to be a joint production by both artists."
(The Wallraf-Richartz Museum)

Anyone would admit that it is the cat poised to attack his reflection in a gazing globe that steals the scene here. The Angora was the first long haired cat to arrive in Europe. Angora was the ancient name for Ankara, the capital of Turkey. Once in France, these companions were royal favorites from Louis XIII up to Louis XVI. Their elegance represented another facette of luxurious court life.

This charming genre scene shows an admirable rendering of satin folds and a colorful, long  fringed Turkish rug cascading off a table, but why is the painting, The Angora Cat, on St Tyl today? 

a modern day angora cat
With a wave of its paw, the cat in the painting has reminded me of other angora fibers that have nothing to do with cats. Or do they? Do they all come from Turkey? 
Some say that it is the silky fur of this popular puss that gave its name to the rest of the angora animals.

a French albino angora rabbit
Despite the existence of angora cats, sheep, and goats, the wool of the angora rabbit is the only fiber to be labeled as such in the textile industry. Its hollow hair causes its loft --the characteristic fuzzy, floating quality associated with angora fibers. It is much warmer than sheep wool, but since it is extremely fine and fragile and not very elastic, angora wool is rarely used alone. 

Some of the best quality angora fibers are obtained by combing the rabbits over-abundant coat at sheeding periods though shearing and other more violent methods have been decried in recent years.

an angora goat
photo: MH Perraud
Mohair France

 The fleece of the angora goat provides the wool called mohair.
From Turkey via Tibet, the word mohair comes from the Arabic  mukhayar meaning the best or most beautiful one. This lusterous, silky fiber is known for its beautiful color variations and its durable strength. (Strangely, the word mohair will then provide the term moire; my guess is that those shaded colors bore a resemblance to the ondulations of watered silk.)
Mohair doesn't stretch or pill so it is ideal for both high quality clothing and upholstry.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Fabrics in the Louvre, bis

photo St Tyl
Salon Pisani
  named for it's ceiling fresco (not shown here) originally located in the Palazzo Pisani à Venise 
Tapestries: The story of Don Quixote  1732-36

photo St Tyl
reproduction à l'identique of an 18th century chinoiserie silk
Tassinari & Chatel

photo St Tyl
fire screen with tapestry from the
Manufacture de Beauvais 1690-1750

photo St Tyl
salle Château d'Abondant
 mid 18th century

photo St Tyl

photo St Tyl
Reproduction of an 18th century painted silk
from Château d'Abondant

Tissus Pierre Frey

Friday, August 29, 2014

New rooms, new fabrics at the Louvre

photo St Tyl
The department of decorative arts at the Louvre has been reorganized to include period rooms. Jacques Garcia headed off the scenography and has provided his generous support to the museum. 

photo St Tyl
Art objects of the early 18th century, 

wood paneling from the hôtel Le Bas de Montargis, place Vendôme
with modern additions

photo St Tyl
Re-weavings of "lace" pattern damask typical of the period

Tassinari & Chatel

photo St Tyl
Restored original textiles

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Rubelli and Moroso

photo: Rubelli
Last year, the Musée des Tissus et des Arts décoratifs of Lyon, hosted the exhibit  Lo sguardo laterale /A sideways glance - Moroso and exploration in decorative arts and design. The event show-cased two creative Italian firms:  furniture maker, Moroso and weaver, Rubelli. 

photo: Rubelli
Very seductive in itself -
this 18th century Philippe de Lasalle textile document was chosen from the Lyon museum archives

photo: Rubelli

to be part the upholstery project.
 The element of fun in Rubelli's recreation of this design is in the ground of the fabric. Those graphic squares are a woven representation of the point paper used for the technical drawing that is usually seen only by the manufacturer. The design is brought into the 21st century with the discreet modernity and a sort of 'textilian' inside joke!

photo: Rubelli
chair design Patricia Urquiola
photo: Rubelli

The fabric was made on a warp of 9600 fine yarns of organzine silk woven with none less than 12 wefts - 11 of viscose  and 1 metallic yarn. The Italian weaver explains, "... 50/60 wefts per centimetre are normally used for a rich fabric, as many as 180 were used for this precious brocade."

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Another dimension for textile patterns: Barrisol

photo: copyright Barrisol Normalu
Barrisol is most known for manufacturing classic to spectacular stretch ceilings, but this innovative company's foray into decorative wall and ceiling materials (non-fabric)  in association with the Musée de l'Impresssion sur Etoffes (MISE) at Mulhouse is what has caught my eye.

photo: copyright Barrisol Normalu

The museum has opened its archives of 6 million print designs from the world over to Barrisol who in turn is ready to interpret them for use in interior decoration projects great and small.

With the museum's rich holdings that span 250 years, the possibilities are endless.

This XXL version of a traditional floral design maintains all the subtlety of the original textile design through digital printing.

Colors can be reworked, patterns modified, 

and a graphic studio is available for help with creative superposition and combinations.
If you would like to see more, the company has a brochure on-line that presents a sampling of fabric designs in categories: Asian, abstract, floral, indiennes, geometric, ethnic, dotted, feathers,lace ...

all photos: copyright Barrisol Normalu

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Textile in a starring role

photo: Pablo Zuloaga
from an article on Paco Carvajal's restored house in Castille
Don't we all need a fabric-covered room? I found a good reminder of it in the cover of the September issue of  The World of Interior's that awaited me when I got in from vacances. And those warp-printed taffeta curtains! Too much the proscenium, you say archly? What you do on your own little world's stage is really your business alone. I know I'd be happy to make many an entrance and exit here. Even the furry little 40's ottoman longs to get into the action and is parading as another draped figurant...though its beguiling material swag must be a stucco and wood-carved imitation. Alas, I won't be hanging fabric in carefully measured pleats along my walls any time soon, but I have been considering placing curtains between my workroom and the living room. This is inspiring!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Sunny side

photo katarina jebb
scarf Hermès
photo source: pinterest
Time for a break. I'm off for some travel and sun.
Have a very nice month of August!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

100 years of textiles at Lelièvre

photo: Lelièvre

The  design department at Lelièvre has devised a knock-out tribute to the company's 100 years of designing and manufacturing beautiful fabric. 

photo: Lelièvre

What you find before you is simply a beautiful design – sophisticated and terribly clever but somehow nonchalant.  
Century is a contemporary design inspired by some of the best loved patterns in the Lelièvre collections. The oldest design components, in stylistic terms, appear in the deepest tones and gradually become more recent as the background of shaded satin becomes lighter in color. The sun rises on a new century!

photo: St Tyl
Take a closer look and you will find quite a bit a French textile history in this medley of flocked motifs: Louis XIV, Charles X, 1930s...a textile lover's delight.

photo: St Tyl

And yet, like the best of Lelièvre's very strong contemporary current, there's something truly fresh here, a light touch. 

photo: St Tyl

Because the best textile companies know how to keep their heritage alive while living fully
in l'air du temps.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Underpinnings: Medieval Bras

L'ancêtre du soutien-gorge moderne.

"Paul Poiret," I would have said without hesitation in answer to the question, "who invented the first modern-day bra?" But Beatrix Nutz, archaeologist from Austria's University of Innsbruck, has recently published findings from the Lengberg Castle which include four linen brassieres dating from the Middle Ages. 2700 textiles fragments were stuffed in beneath flooring laid during the 15th century addition of another storey to the edifice, permitting a peek today at what look like surprisingly modern underpinnings.

It isn't that the concept of controlling giggle was historically unknown to us, but those Roman sports bands were child's play in terms of construction next to this sophistication.  Separate cups, real straps and apparently - though now lost - a back strap for closing system, once again the 'Dark Ages' prove themselves to be modern and inventive. Two among the four garments even show signs of going beyond the functional with needle-lace embellishments on the straps and cups. 

photo via marie-laurePoiret design from 1915

We still have Monsieur Poiret to thank for helping to free women from corsets in the beginning of the 
20th century, but now we can see his stylish (re-)invention as part fashion's - most often - anonymous cycles.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Trompe l'oeil Ribbon

On the exhibit radar: Julien Faure, Créateur de rubans depuis 1864 at the 
Musée de l'Art et de l'Industrie St Etienne. 150 years of weaving wonders in tiny widths!  And the museum has the largest and most beautiful collection of ribbons in the world.

Julien Faure = a tradition of creativity, good design, 

talent and skill which shows...

right down to these Louboutins.

For another glimpse of these concentrates of artistry look here.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Various verdures

It must be all the gardens I've been visiting lately with my sister; I have green nature on my mind.
 In these last months of blog absence, I've been here and about finding - among other things - that
winding vegetal forms will always have their place in textile design.
Above, a passementrie chandelier at their second Parisian showroom  Passementiers Declerq 
in the rue du Mail...

Foliage  by Sam Baron - at the entrance to the Tai Ping showroom last summer
in the From the Floor Up Collection -

and a closer view at the January Maison & Objet event.

Another rug with a fine 3-D effect, also seen at the Tai Ping site. 

Arden wallpaper by Melissa White at Zoffany
seen here 

More traditional but still kicking,
 the velvet and tapestry technique design
of  Marly by Colony.

Valentino Couture 2014

Chest covered in 18th century Aubusson tapestry from
Questel Antiquités Proantic 

 A slither of chiffon,
fabric as fig leaf ...

from the Félix Vallotton exhibit at the Grand Palais.