A brief history
Although the history of copper plate printing extends to Ireland and then England, toiles de Jouy are better known from the French origins of their design.
During the 17th century, European printed cottons were not yet colourfast. Through the colonial trade, Indian cotton prints, which were fixed with mordants, became popular in Europe. These “indiennes” were soon customised in European sensibilities and used for both clothing and furnishing. A 70-year ban on printed cotton was even imposed to protect the wool and silk industry from this light and washable textile.
It was at the end of this ban that the Bavarian Christophe-Philippe Oberkampf set up his factory in Jouy-en-Josas, positioned conveniently for royal patronage near the Court at Versailles. For the first decade, Oberkampf’s factory only produced indiennes using Indian wooden block printing techniques.