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Many things are covered with upholstery fabric. I just love it !
In this world of fabric, we have an infinite palette of colors, patterns and textures. It’s fantastic! I find some fabric fascinating, and this interest has always been with me. Without a doubt, I prefer natural textile like old cotton, wool, linen and silk too especially as fabric wall covering.
My interest in upholstery fabric, furniture and colors started when I was visiting my grandparent’s for the summers. Completely surrounded by a smell of beeswax, the decor was traditional. Draperies and furnishings were colorful which included tassels and fringes. Not to mention the doors had crystal knobs and plates. Let me tell a little on an old world of fabrics.

printed upholstery fabric stretched on wall
Upholstery fabric on walls – Toile de Jouy

The roots of our passion for fabrics

My passion for sewing began during my numeros visits to my grandmother’s house. She not only instilled in me a love for precision and creating beautiful things but also taught me to appreciate the classic values of the past. Her love and respect for the past inspired me to create timeless pieces with attention to detail.
She also, embraced the skills and the new ideas of the present.

She was a seamstress and made the most beautiful clothes. Together we did all sorts of projects like going to these amazing fabric stores and select fabrics for making clothes. Or take me on our annual visit to one of the finest French Museum outside Paris with endless galleries of Fine Art in Picardie. There was cooking, baking but this is a story for another day!

When I was staying at my grandparent’s house, I was sleeping in this cozy little room that had all sorts of wonderful things to enjoy. One thing that really stood out to me was the printed toile in a striking shade of red like this image above. The intricate design depicted country scenes with a myriad of animals grazing in the fields, while people went about their daily lives.
Each night, I would look at every details in a scene and found myself falling asleep.

Above all, my grandparent’s bedroom was decorated with a soft blue and yellow flower wall upholstery which added a charming touch to the room. Furthermore a gold cord was carefully place around the space to conceal any visible nails. I believe it was my first time looking at fabric wall coverings. Then it was in Versailles where there are many rooms to discover with fabric stretches on very large walls.

upholstery fabric for walls in blue  stripes and yellow
embroidery project

Fabric legacy

Through these years, we did a lot of sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet together and I do have fun memories.
Of course as my mother learned from her mother, I did too. She taught me so much.

These memories likely fueled my interest in fabrics and sparked my curiosity about their composition, or origin.
As a result it’s only natural that I am curious about the stories behind them. From the design of toile to the complete weave of a brocade, fabrics have unique histories that make them even more fascinating. I collect so many pieces!
Somehow I am drawn towards the most luxurious materials such as silk, brocade, brocatelle, damask, taffeta, velvet. Fabric is everywhere and live would be pretty plain without it. Not only for clothe but for our home too.

One particular fabric that hold value for me is upholstery fabric. Upholstery fabric has been around for centuries and was often used to cover furniture in aristocratic homes. In the past, these fabrics came from a variety of materials such as silk, cotton, linen. And chosen based on their durability and lavishness.

But there’s more to upholstery fabric than just its composition. The intricate designs and patterns of upholstery fabric were also significant. The colors and motifs were often meant to tell a story or represent a family’s heritage. These fabrics were also used to create a sense of grandeur and elegance in a room.

bedroom with wall upholstery in France

Classic French Fabrics to discover

Interesting facts from the past. Louis XI developed a national silk industry in Lyon. In 1540, Francois I, French King who was a major patron of the Arts, granted a monopoly on silk production to the same city.
Actually, I would have loved to be a mouse and see all these beautiful upholstery fabrics been woven then transformed in the workshops. See them used in many lavish interiors. Many palaces in Europe had amazing decoration. As mention earlier in Versailles, there are rooms after rooms of wonderful fabrics on furnitures, draperies and coordinated walls. Fontainebleau is another example where the public admires many beautifully restored or rewoven textiles.

Another place rich in history is the city of Condecourt in France. Located about 40 minutes northwest from the city of Paris, the Chateau de la Villette sits outside the village. The historical monument built in the mid 17th century was designed by the famous Francois Mansart. Of course, the gardens were created by Andre Le Notre. So much history! Among the 14 colorful and luxurious bedrooms, there is one with a blue theme.

Before we look at the next image, I will add that ten years ago, the well known Jacques Garcia renovated the interior with a decor XVIII century. All the rooms are absolutely exquisite with such a high standard of refinement everywhere. Now, let’s take a peak in one of the room.

bedroom decorated in blue silk fabric

This bedroom has a silk fabric in a large damask pattern.
The furniture and the bed have matching fabrics. Fabric wall coverings stretches in each section of the walls.
If we look closely at the draperies around the bed, we notice that there are line in a vibrant silk color. The same red upholstery fabric as the little sofa at the foot of the bed.

Moreover, you can see inside the little jewel named the ” Petit Versailles” because it is open for reservation. It is part of the Heritage Collection.

Fabrics in Museums close to us

Metropolitan Museum

The truth is we don’t have to go so far to see some great fabrics. The George Washington Museum has a vast collection of Textiles from around the world.
While visiting the Metropolitan Museum in New York, go the European decorative art section. You will see many rooms completely French from top to bottom with interior decoration from late 17 and 18 century. Furthermore, in one of the room, there is a unique dog house underneath a window. The small furniture has a blue velvet. It belongs to Marie-Antoinette furniture’s inventory. She had this unique beds made for her “royal doggies’.

furniture stamp under an upholstered dog bed.Stamp under the upholstered dog bed.

When I saw the dog bed at my last visit in New York, I smiled because of the following story. 
Some years ago, Eric was working for a renowned decorator in Paris, France La Maison Brazet. A very similar piece of furniture came into his hands in the need of a make over…
Of course, the old frame needed re-gilding completely. The fabric replaced by a beautiful blue velvet silk and embellished by decorative trimmings. Then, on the inside an elegant cord follow the edges of the bicolor striped taffeta in the niche

dog bed upholstered in fabric

Years after upholstering an antique furniture mentioned just above, we decided to build one. For one thing, it’s not only a dog house but a piece of furniture too as it is 44 inches tall.
The upholstery fabric covers completely the solid wood. Real leather wraps the frame and the entrance of the niche. On the outside the walls have an embroidered silk on the 4 panels. A different fabric is stretch inside including the dome.

leather upholstery dog bed

Our world of upholstery fabric today

At the present time, I am still working with fabric, but it is with fabric wall covering. We have a company specialized in stretching fabrics and we install amazing fabric across the United States. I guide my clients in their selections and research unique fabric for their projects. Also, I contribute in installing wall upholstery. It is a fascinating experience to watch and, see the transformation of a space. As well as watching yards of upholstery fabric stretched on walls. By the same token, looking at a client eyes admiring the new wall upholstery.
You may be interested in this article add texture to your walls

I continue my love affair with fabrics by collecting them and learning about their stories. And with so many fabrics to choose from, we will never run out of inspiration for our next project.

Indeed, I think of my grandmother and my mother as I work with precious cloths. How much they value and recognize a good fabric. An ethics I have kept. And today, these principles are present at VE THOMAN, in all projects.
To conclude if you need more information fabric wall covering, keep reading and learn about wall upholstery.