Windows on Provence
Provençal fabrics - or indiennes - were first produced throughout France during the seventeenth century following the methods and designs of the imported fabrics from India. In 1686 the Royalty stopped the importation of the Indian fabric but, because Provence was not on royal land, production continued here and grew over the next two hundred years, with factories in Orange, Avignon, Tarascon and Aix.
These fabrics, which originally served as women's shawls, and are now mostly used for interior decoration, are brilliantly multi-coloured prints in kaleidoscopic floral and geometric patterns. Originally the dyes were obtained from natural materials and each colour in a design was applied with separate woodblock impressions.
There are a number of companies based in Provence that continue the tradition of fabric making - including Ensoleillade and Marat d'Avignon who supply our fabric products to the highest quality. But beware of imitations - there are products out there that are made elsewhere in France, and even in China!