An Oberkamp Toile
Toile designs, more than any other fabric designs, connote luxury, opulence, and aesthetic sophistication. The scenes depicted on toile fabrics are always pastoral and ancient, often European and always pleasant—they generally present idealized visions of common life. In these visions, peasants dance to flute music and carry baskets over-laden with produce. Farmers rest by brooks, and children frolic with farm animals, while in the background flowering vines wrap around the columns of crumbling temples.
The visions depicted on toile fabrics are distinctively rural, but they are intended for urban applications—for the salon, not the stable. Toile designs are most commonly printed on fabrics, and these fabrics are used to construct comforters, pillows and drapes. However, toile designs are often found on wallpaper, as well, and on plates and upholstered chairs and couches. Recently, designers have used toile designs to decorate lampshades, dresses, handbags—and even boots.
In medieval France, the word “toile” was used to describe “a canvas” or “linen cloth”—fabric one might paint upon. In the 1770’s a Bavarian block printer named Oberkamp, who had moved to a small village near Paris called Jouy-en-Josas, produced his first toile prints. His prints soon became very popular, and they were called “Toile de Jouy” prints, after the town in which Oberkamp settled. These detailed wood blocks presented agricultural and hunting scenes, Oriental and Persian themes, and Classical scenes—Roman and Greek myths and historical events.
Overall, Oberkamp’s toiles reflected the style favored by King Louis XVI (1774-1792)—his court, after all, was in Versailles, very near Jouy-en-Josas. Louis XVI, reacting against the excesses and even bizarre fancies of his predecessor, Louis XV, preferred classical themes and ideals. One can easily see the classical aesthetic in Oberkamp’s toiles. His characters and scenes resemble the pastorals represented on Greek Urns. The toiles show a longing for days-gone-by and celebrate the divine simplicities of manual labor and earned leisure. They also eternalize a moment—a summer day or harvest day—an immortalization of physical vitality that is almost bitter-sweet in that it represents an unobtainable perfection. Keats sums up this longing, in his poem, “Ode on a Grecian Urn”:
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal—yet, do not grieve;
She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!
Joyce Post, founder of Post-Impressions and one of the leading fashion bedding designers, developed the popular Bouvier ensemble for Thomasville Home Fashions. Bouvier’s main print features a toile design depicting beautifully-rendered cameos of Seventeenth or Eighteenth Century rural French life. Post explains how she came up with the design that has proven so successful: “I visited a studio that sells artwork and documents from France and selected a couple that I found interesting. I then extracted the best images and combined them into the pattern.” Post explained that, although the Toile de Jouy prints are ancient, they are still highly-sought after even today: “toiles are a classic and never go out of style.” In fact, she says, toiles “can definitely be contemporary or transitional.” It is the beauty of the artwork that keeps toiles relevant today, says Post, and that fact that the pastoral toile scenes create a narrative for the viewer: “they tell a story.” Post continues to work with toiles, and has plans to launch more toile ensembles in the near future: “I am currently working on one in conjunction with Historic Charleston [http://www.ajmoss.com/historic-charlestown-collection.php] that I hope to have ready by March.” Eventually, however, it is neither the origins of the designs, or their relevance today, or even their narrative appeal that makes toiles engaging—it is simply their beauty—“I have always loved these patterns!” Post says.
aj MOSS offers a wide a wide variety of toile bedding ensembles—all of which are manufactured in the U.S.A. Bouvier, the ensemble designed by Joyce Post, is manufactured by Thomasville Home Fashions, which operates in Thomasville, Georgia. The toile design for this pattern is in Black, and is printed on an ivory cotton duck background. The coordinating bed skirt is a mélange of delicate leaves scattered on a textured ground. The pattern repeats as a Euro sham and also as a tasseled decorative pillow. Decorative pillows, in a mixture of antique red damask and a black cotton duck, add the special finishing touches to this elegant ensemble. As with most patterns we offer, free swatches of the Bouvier fabrics are available upon request.
Victorian Toile – Green, an aj MOSS exclusive, is a traditional French country toile pattern in a warm, earthy moss green. This ensemble comes in several different variations, so you can tailor it to suit your own taste. The regular comforter set pairs a moss and ivory toile comforter and shams with a coordinating gingham bed ruffle. The same comforter and shams can also be paired with a solid malachite tailored box pleat bed skirt. This ensemble is a perfect addition to a room with natural-stained wood furniture and decorative accents in earth tones and natural fibers.
Victorian Toile – Blue, another aj MOSS exclusive, is an elegant wedgewood and ivory toile print in the traditional French country style. The intricate scenes of the toile print sprawl across the comforter, shams and reversible throw pillows, which reverse to a wedgewood and ivory gingham. The gingham print also appears on the bed ruffle and European shams. This ensemble has become a customer favorite for both master and guest bedrooms. To create a cozy vintage retreat, combine this bedding set with buttercream walls and a few red accents such as a cashmere throw, beaded curtain tie backs, a velvet chair or ottoman, or lampshades for your bedside table lamps.
Victorian Toile – Black is a traditional French Country Toile in black and cream. This aj MOSS exclusive offers several different comforter set options, allowing you to customize a look that suits your taste. The standard comforter set includes the toile comforter and shams paired with a black and cream gingham bed ruffle. There is also a comforter set with linen coordinates which pairs the toile comforter with a tailored box pleat bed skirt and shams in linen with a black grosgrain ribbon trim. You can choose European shams in either toile or linen to customize your look even further.
Waverly’s Country Life Black Toile is the main print for this, one of our most popular bedding ensemble. The black and off-white pattern, an elegant 18th Century Toile-de-Jouy motif, is complemented by a classic country check. This bedding ensemble features three Waverly fabrics: Country Life Black, Classic Ticking Black, and Cheerful Check Black. The Comforter is cream backed and self-corded.
Victorian Toile – Red, yet another pattern exclusive to aj MOSS, is a vivacious version of a classic French country toile. In a vivid palette of cranberry and cream, this stylish ensemble will brighten up your bedroom. The intricately detailed toile comforter is paired with a coordinating cranberry and cream gingham bed ruffle. This collection offers a variety of European shams and throw pillows in cranberry toile, solid cardinal, or a contrasting black toile which you can mix and match to create your own custom ensemble. This is the perfect pattern to brighten up a room with dark stained furniture or neutral colored walls.
For over two hundred years, people have enjoyed toile fabric designs, both for their narrative evocations of pastoral scenes, and for their aesthetic beauty. If you are interested in bringing a striking toile design into your bedroom, you might consider one of our toile bedding ensembles or window treatments. Most of our toile designs are aj MOSS exclusives, and most are made in the U.S.A. We offer free swatches of all our toile patterns. Please feel free to contact us with any questions, toll-free at 877-863-1270, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hello out there in Bedding Land! It’s your intrepid guide to the bedding world, Stephanie. Here in customer service we get all sorts of questions from the practical, What’s in a comforter set?, to the sublime ,I have gray carpets, scarlet walls, and a pink bed. What do you think will look good in my room? Not kidding. Lately, there has been an upswing on questions regarding allergy-free bedding.
There are a few ways to deal with getting you a better night sleep. If you don’t want to replace the bedding pillows, mattress box-spring, and comforter insert, you can choose to simply cover them. These are simply just fitted covers which zip over the items you want to protect (or be protected from). The covers are sold in many different styles and can be specialized for your particular allergies. This will not only help make you more comfortable, it can also help extend the life of your bedding. My friend Stevie, who I tease is almost allergic to herself, chooses this route.
One of the biggest questions we have is customers who have down allergies. This comes into play with comforter inserts and pillows. There are a few options here. The standby answer would be a synthetic down alternative. They try to mimic the feel and style of its down counterpart. The only difference I can see is the synthetic doesn’t quite have the fluffy and squishy feel of down, (I know, very scientific).
Watch out synthetic, there’s a new kid on the block! Bedding made of silk. Seems swanky, huh? However, there are huge health and practical benefits to silk. Silk is dust-mite free as silk naturally repels insects. Silk breaths better than down, wicking moisture away from your body, helping to regulate your body temperature through out the night. Alsoâ€”there is none of the bunching or shifting that can happen with regular fills.
Let’s face it. Allergies suck. But with some careful choices, bedding doesn’t have to.
Let’s be honest. For us here in the bedding world– comforters are the thing. Every manufacturer makes them, most shoppers are looking for them, and as we are located in the usually very cold mountains of New Hampshire, comforters are very warm on a winter’s night. We’re leery when someone tries to push something else on us (no offense, duvets).
Here at ajMOSS, we have a very persistent sales rep, let’s call him Phil. Whenever Phil comes to visit, he says to us, “Hey Mossters,” (we call ourselves Mossters) “Quilts are coming back. Quilts are going to be big this season.” Since he’s been saying this ever since I’ve been working here (four years next month), we felt pretty comfortable scoffing at him.
Quilts? Really? Whenever I thought of quilts, it brought to mind old fashioned, overly styled pieces, that belonged in my grandmother’s house. Now, as a woman of, well let’s just say a certain age, I don’t know about you guys, but I want my bedroom to be hip and stylish. I want someone to look at my room and say, she’s got style. And I’m pretty sure I’m not going to do that with something that belonged on the prairie.
Then you know what happened? It only took four years, but Phil got it right. Quilts became more popular. Finally, I got off my comforter covered horse and seriously looked at a quilt companies products. You know what? I was wrong. We were wrong. I don’t know when it happened but quilts got stylish. Who knew? (Shut up, Phil)
Yes, many still have a very classic, I think the PC word is “primitive,” look to them. A sense of early Americana. But this doesn’t make them stuffy. Bright colors, bold patchwork, cute coordinates, and versatility–quilts are poised to give comforters a run for their money.
The quilts now offered in the ajMOSS line have some very important features: They’re machine washable. Who has the time or money to take things to the dry cleaners? With a cat who likes to sleep at the end of my bed, if I don’t clean my bedding frequently, it looks like I have very hair feet. Not an attractive look. Versatility. Where comforters are usually backed by a plain sheet material, these quilts are backed with a coordinating print. Tired of one look? Flip the quilt over and you have a completely different one to work with. Structure. The thin layer of batting is completely stitched down in the quilted pattern. There is no way that stuff is shifting anywhere. In the warm months of summer, the quilt is all you need. In the cold New Hampshire winters? Layer the quilt with a down comforter.
Yep, I’m officially a quilt convert. I’ve had my quilt for a couple of months now. It got me through the long winter in warmth and style. I’d like to say this will make me be open to more ideas, but who am I kidding? As a woman of a certain age, I’m pretty set in my ways. The best we can hope for is that next time, it will only take 2 years to convince me.
Thanks for your time and Happy Shopping!
1. Why do our bodies twitch before we fall asleep?
According to failedsuccess.com, nearly 70% of people have a â€œhypnagogic myoclonic twitchâ€ as they fall asleep. This â€œhypnic jerkâ€ is most likely the result of your brain misinterpreting the relaxation of your muscles as they prepare for sleep. Your brain, thinking your body is falling down, instructs your muscles to jerk yourself up.
2. If you can’t sleep, what’s better: counting sheep or getting out of bed and being productive?
Both SelfhelpMagazine and apollolight.com recommend getting out of bed if you canâ€™t sleep. If you stay in bed and do non-sleeping activities (e.g. watch TV, read a book), you can subconsciously train yourself to not be able to sleep in your bedroom. SelfhelpMagazine even advises not to count sheep, as counting stimulates your brain.
3. Why do we yawn?
There is no definitive explanation for why we yawn. The closest we can get to an answer is what med students are taught, which is that we yawn due to low levels of oxygen in our lungs. When the air sacs in our lungs donâ€™t get fresh air, they stiffen the lungs by collapsing a bit, which signals the brain to instruct the body to sigh or yawn in order to receive more air in the lungs. (source: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3076713/)
4. Why do animals walk in a circle before they lie down?
Certain animals (dogs, for example) walk in circles (or create â€œdog crop circles,â€ as coined by the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) before lying down because this behavior was hard-wired into them. Itâ€™s a natural behavior their ancestors did in order to flatten down grass to make for a comfy bed.
5. Is there any effect of eating before you go to bed?
MSN Health studied what happens if you eat right before bedtime. The couple who ate a few hours before they went to bed slept fine, whereas the couple who ate before they went to sleep reported â€œtossing and turning all night.â€ The poor sleep was attributed to your body digesting food when it should be winding down in preparation for sleeping, which results in reflux. Conversely, going to bed on an empty stomach will also result in disruptive sleep (specifically, missing the â€œdeep sleepâ€ stage that allows your body to rest and repair). The best thing to do is to have a light snack before going to bed, which will provide fuel for your body as it rests for the night.
6. How many dust mites are there in beds? Are they harmful?
Environment, Health, and Safety Online has the inside scoop about dust mites. 100,000 to upwards of 10 million mites can live in your mattress. They sustain off dead skin cells, making beds a veritable smorgasbord for these microscopic critters. Some people are allergic to a protein found in dust mitesâ€™ droppings (meaning they get itchy eyes, their asthma flares up, etc), but otherwise dust mites pose no harm or health risk.
7. Why do we have dreams about falling?
According to dreamdoctor.com, falling dreams are typically the result of our sense of balance shifting from lying down in the real world to being mobile in our dreams. Falling dreams can be especially common when youâ€™re drifting off to sleep, since at this time your body is adjusting to the new sense of balance.
8. Can blind people see in their dreams?
Both ScienceIQ.com and About.com agree that the simple answer is no. If you werenâ€™t born blind, then you can have visual dreams, as these images can derive from memory; however, people who are born blind will have auditory dreams that are coupled with the feeling of emotion and movement, whereas people who are legally blind will be able to see whatever they can distinguish when theyâ€™re awake.
9. Do deaf people hear in their dreams?
Discovery Online posts that deaf people can establish an auditory inner voice because of the brainâ€™s ability to develop phonological representations, though these â€œsoundsâ€ may be different than what noises actually sound like. When asked about their dreams, deaf undergrad students at Gallaudet University responded that sometimes they sign and sometimes they speak, although their speech seems to be transmitted mentally rather than through actual speech.
10. Why do kids wet the bed?
Children wet the bed not because of emotional problems or faulty kidneys, but simply because their bladders are still too small to hold the amount of urine their bodies make overnight. Furthermore, the U of M Health System adds that a lot of children are heavy sleepers, so they may not yet be able to wake up when itâ€™s time to go to the bathroom.
Not only does the onset of winter bring cold temperatures but it also blows us new patterns from our favorite companies. Here is an introduction to some of the patterns we are most excited about:
Bouvier is Thomasville’s take of the classic French toile. Bouvier features a large detailed print, creamy ivory background, and a sharp black edging. Instead of the standard check bedskirt Bouvier has a unique white leaf print that is repeated in several of the accessories. What really sets this set apart I think, are the bold accessories. The red woven and black fabric pillows and euro shams gives a sharp twist to this classic pattern.
Freesia from Thomasville brings along with it warm thoughts of spring. The light buttercream color is accented by soft colors in garden green, carnation, and cloudy blue. The striking green floral found in the bedskirt and euro shams provides a nice contrast to the comforter print. This will certainly brighten up those long dark days of winter.
For a really unique look check out Lara and its sister pattern Laval from Thomasville. While similar in pattern, the use of bold color creates two completely different looks. With colors of raspberry, maize, pear, and pumpkin swirling on a black background Lara evokes a new art deco look. On the other hand with a bright geranium background and mixes of pear, maize, and blue, Laval has taste hippy chic style. Both patterns include bedskirts made of bold stripes and accessories made of touchable silk, quilting, and puckered dots.
Nightengale presented by Croscill. In muted golds, ivory, delicately layered florals, and silk ruching on several of the accessories, this pattern will add a touch of glamor to any room.
These are just a few of the many new patterns to the ajMOSS website, to check out all the new patterns, visit out the Thomasville, Croscill, and ajMOSS exclusive pages on our website.
And Remember:Its during these long winter months, when we find ourselves huddled beneath our layers, that we really start looking at our inner surrounding. Just because it is cold outside doesn’t mean it has to be inside. The use of soft textures and bright colors can do a lot to warm up a room and send our thoughts toward spring.