While in Paris last month, Stefan and I had a rare treat. After stopping by the Pierre Frey showroom on the rue du Mail, we walked over to the headquarters to see their archives. What we were surprised to learn is that Pierre Frey archive doesn’t just contain Pierre Frey fabrics but fabrics that they have collected from all periods and styles so that they have a reference when creating new fabrics and collections.
The main highlight was seeing the fabrics that the company made for the renovation of the second floor private are at the Petit Trianon at Versailles. Above is just one of them.
This is the vintage fabric that was used for inspiration.
This is another one of the finished printed fabrics.
On the left is the new version and the vintage fabric is on the right.
I’m not sure if you can see the mark near the flower but it is the mark that the printer would have used as a marker when they laid the wooden blocks on the fabric. Since the new fabric was printed by a machine, it wouldn’t need this mark but it was kept to preserve the look of the original. It is this type of detail that I’m sure won Pierre Frey the job!
Many of the old fabrics were most likely bedding originally.
The toiles were the most interesting since they depicted life as it was at the time they were created.
But they also had more deco fabrics as well.
This blue toile reminds me of the blue color of the toile in Carolina Herrera Junior’s home in Spain.
It was amazing that the colors of the archival fabrics are still bright!
The brocades were especially bright and beautiful.
The crewelwork was also bright and beautiful!
I can’t remember but this might be a newer printed fabric. I’ll have to find out.
This hand painted canvas was absolutely gorgeous and probably my favorite thing in the collection!
Stefan and I were surprised and delighted that they had clothing in the collection as well.
The embroidery on this jacket was really beautiful.
This dress had faded a little but was still no less beautiful!
The archives were amazing and we definitely felt like kids in a candy store! Each drawer held something even more amazing than the last!
There were many Indian print fabrics as well.
I love the colors on this one.
There seemed to be a lot of reds and blues in the collection.
We loved the watercolor look of the design on this fabric.
This piece was probably part of a bed.
This is an example of an early model that would have been shown to the homeowner to show them how the fabrics would look in a room!
The old books were full of even more treasures!
Even the outsides are amazing!
I personally would love to frame some of these but they are actually still used to create fabrics.
The books might have been used as salesman samples. Patrick Frey, the son of Pierre Frey, attends auctions to buy vintage textiles to add to the collection.
Because they were out of the light, the colors stayed very bright.
I’ll have to find out if the reproduced this fabric because I love the color combination!
The wallpaper books were even more amazing than the fabric books!
We were dying over all of them!
This one was especially beautiful!
And of course the vintage chinoiserie wallpapers were to die for!
I want to thank everyone at Pierre Frey in Paris who took time out of their day to show us around. Stefan and I had an amazing time and learned so much about textiles. Pierre Frey is also very lucky to have Sophie Rouart as their archivist. She was previously the curator of the Musee de Toile de Jouy and wrote an amazing book on Toile called La Toile de Jouy. The original is a collector’s item so luckily there is a another edition that I highly recommend if you would like to learn more about textiles and toile. Or you could just book yourself a trip to France! Up to you!
Thank you so much for sharing your Paris adventures with all of us who dream of going but have yet to make the trip.
AND, thanks for a very interesting look into the art of fabric design! Just amazing for someone like me who is not in that craft.
wow wow wow, how on earth did you manage to get that tour??? That is something I would seriously love to do. Nice work!!!
wow- this was very, very cool. the kind of thing that elevates a mere vacation into the land of the special and noteworthy. lucky you.
Thank you for sharing these amazing images! How lucky you are! Such beautiful textiles x
great fabrics, love the green one(s), and the book, you had me drooling… love it!
Thanks so much for sharing these pictures and stories with us. I’m lucky enough to look at fabrics all day and these are amazing.
My addiction to vintage textiles (until now held in check) has now gone full-blown. This is such an inspiration-thanks so much for this amazingly detailed post.
what a treat! thank you so much for sharing so many pictures!
Thank you for being our eyes into this beauty!
I cannot imagine the labor involved in conserving these pieces. Having worked at FIT’s Museum, I can already hasten a guess. . .
Beautiful fabrics. The Toile de Jouy especially. Picture 24 looks a lot like Stroheim and Romann “Lafontaine,” if it isn’t. Thanks for a nice post.
What an amazing post! Thank you!
I think this was the most amazing thing we did while in Paris! I had been telling some people about our time there so I’ll have to send on this post. Of course -my own camera battery had died so I didn’t have my own photos as evidence!
Did you get to meet Mme Frey, the marvelous Lorraine?
Love the crewelwork. Plan on being in Paris over Thanksgiving weekend, any great stores I should visit?
Heather – have you seen that I will be going to Paris and London in about 9 days! I nedd your advice on things that are a must see!
I think you can read my mind…Pierre Frey is one of my absolute favorites!
What a treat to be able to see it all first hand. This will be top of my list next time I am in Paris.
David @ Ashfield Hansen Design
heather, this is a wonderful post. what a wonderful view into such an established textile company. our adoration for PF is more alive than ever after reading your insight and seeing these images.
thank you! -Found
Heather, thank you for sharing this wonderful story of our archives! What a treat to see it through your eyes. Your writing is so vivid I feel like I’m standing there with you! And thank you for squeezing us into your very busy Paris agenda.