If you are interested in textile and have a chance to visit Southern France, don’t miss the famous Souleiado Museum in Tarascon…It is a real quintessence of Provençal tradition.
The museum is hidden in the very centre of Tarascon, near the famous rue de Tinturiers – “Dyer street”.
…The story begins during the mid-seventeenth century, when the Compagnie des Indes Orientales began to ship brilliantly-coloured and very thin and light-weight printed cotton fabrics from India. The French were amazed by the beauty of the colours and printed patterns, which they referred to as ‘indiennes’. The French textile industry quickly adopted the patterns, developed them futher according to provencal tradition and using local plants and minerals for dyeing. Artists and other workers were lured away from the wool and silk factories of Lyon to staff new ateliers established to produce French indiennes.
…In the middle of 20th century, the traditional manufacture practically dissareared, competed by the industrial productions. In 1938 Charles Demery took over management of the family business; one of his first important decisions was a change of name to Souleiado. After the difficult war years production increased and the company’s product range expanded with the introduction of ready-made skirts, dresses and handbags, etc. The decision was taken to move towards mechanised production, transferring the patterns from original pin-registered, hand-cut wooden printing blocks onto the copper plates used for the new volume production processes.
historical wooden templates
provencial quilt (pique). Famous porcellain maid by Lelle, founder of Art Nouveau direction in Provence
famous boutis, provencial relief quilt