WHIDBEY ISLAND SAN FRANCISCO PARIS
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Robin White

Interiors

Fabric Design: Joséphine Bonaparte at Musée du Luxembourg, Paris

Here we have a portrait of Joséphine in one of her gowns featuring her fabric designs or of those in her hire. The pattern reflects her love of florals but used in a unique pattern which closely resembles what we know as paisley today. The French words for paisley are boteh and palme. The origins of paisley are from India and Pakistan. For reference, Joséphine was crowned Empress in the 1804. Per Wikipedia:

Local manufacturers in Marseilles began to mass-produce the patterns via early textile printing processes at 1640. England, circa 1670, and Holland, in 1678, soon followed. This, in turn, provided Europe’s weavers with more competition than they could bear, and the production and import of printed paisley was forbidden in France by royal decree from 1686 to 1759. However, enforcement near the end of that period was lax, and France had its own printed textile manufacturing industry in place as early at 1746 in some locales. Paisley was not the only design produced by French textile printers; the demand for paisley which created the industry there also made possible production of native patterns such as toile de Jouy.

The fabrics for the Empress were, of course, custom designs.

Joséphine

Joséphine

Joséphine with Paisley

Joséphine with Paisley