Les Indiennes Fabrics

Elle Decor April 11

Mary Mulcahy’s designs, first developed for her block-printed textiles, now grace the wall with the Les Indiennes collection by IVM Prints. The 12 hand-screened wallpapers include Rayure, left, and Veronique, both in indigo; additional colors are offered, Seen in Elle Decor April 2011

The company Les Indiennes is known for their beautiful hand-blocked textiles. Founder, Mary Mulcahy had a desire to find naturally dyed cotton, with large scale single colored motifs, but was unable to locate fabrics close to what she had in mind, so she created her own.   Her concept started to take form after running into a craftsman in southern India,  who knew exactly what she was after.  In fact, the craftsman was one of the very few artists who still practiced the ancient art of kalamkari, which was an extremely complex and rare method of printing on fabric.

The Kalamkari Process:

1.  Fabric Preparation- Cotton fabric is initially softened and bleached.  This process needs to be done before any printing takes place.  The process involves bales of organic cotton which are repeatedly rinsed and beaten against large rocks, then laid out on the grass to bleach in the sun.   These steps ensure that the fabric will feel soft and luxurious, and so that the color application remains bright and vibrant.

2. Block Printing- After the fabric has been softened and lightened, printing begins.  Craftsmen dip hand-carved wood blocks in dyes and presses them into the cotton.  The dyes are derived from plants, roots, earth, and rock.  One can only imagine the great care, and measurements taken to ensure the patterns are straight and line up with one another.  Today we take for granted large printing machinery, when at one time, much of this work was done by hand.  At Les Indiennes, the fabric is printed by hand, and hours go into each fabric panel.  After the patterns are applied, the printed fabric is air dried for at least two days.

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Stylish Looks For Slip-covering Your Furniture

 Veranda May June 2012

When you think of slipcovers, you may have memories of the 80’s clunky furniture covered with slipcovers that were tied with over-sized bows and small scale stuffy florals with outdated colors.  Interior design took a tumble in the 80’s and 90’s, however, interior design directions haven’t ever looked so good as they do now. Today, we are seeing an emergence of the simple raw materials become exciting again. Old weathered barns, which were once eyesores, fetch quite a bit of money, as the wood is recycled and reclaimed furniture fetches top dollar. Simpler interiors and quality materials have become a new way of life, as people throw away the cheap products mass produced overseas and opt for natural, raw, rustic and antique goods. Those who follow the design trends for the home aren’t shopping at the big box stores for their furniture, but rather they  are after the unique looks which merge with their individual styles.

Slipcovers have a long history in interior design, because they offer change and functionality in the home. In the 18th century, the slip-cover had become a design tool for wealthy homeowners, who wanted a change from season to season.  Slipcovers were made for furniture,and often coordinated with drapery. Slipcovers have always posed some challenges, mainly that they can be ill-fitting and poorly made. Wrinkled seats and sagging backs produce a careless appearance that gives a lax impression in even the most orderly room. Making slipcovers can be complicated, as they need to fit furniture well, just as a sharply made tailored suit can define a beautiful figure.  If the slipcovers are made poorly, the lines of the furniture can be completely lost.

Slip-covers also posed some challenges with seasonal changes. Many would find the covers too tight, or too loose in different seasons.  To compensate this, linen covers were made a bit larger, which could stretch with summer’s humidity and heat.  The material would then have enough shrink for the change in the dry air for the winter. These difficulties are overcome by accurate measurements, and carefully following the lines of the chair when the pattern is made. Allowing several inches of material for tucking at the back and under the arms, a slipcover can be comfortable throughout the seasons.

Several Professional Tips

– One famous London upholsterer puts a strip of wood across the back of the seat before tucking the material in, to give added firmness.

– Elaborate detailing such as French pleating, cording, ruffles and special buttons add a customized look to any piece of furniture.

– Heavy linen, and cotton canvas have been popular as natural slipcover choices. The French tickings and cotton damasks make great bed covers, drapery and slipcovers. Consider using unbleached muslin with which also can be dyed in soft shades of blue, green, or yellow. Gingham and simple checks can give your room a Swedish, gustavian flair. Stripes lend a sophisticated touch to any room, and wear well, and are especially easy to launder.  Chintz florals are quite attractive to look at, and do a terrific job of keeping the dust out and soil out than other fabrics. Chintz is the most expensive by far, and the most effective material for slip covers. The bold patterns of birds, flowers, and medallions of contrasting colors make it a pattern that is lovely to look at year around.

– Gathers, and wide flat box-plaits add interest to the bottom of slipcovers. These details can be used just below the seat of the chair, probably on a line with the upholstery or seat frame. This style works particularly well with French chairs with beautifully designed cabriole legs which are so decorative in themselves that they do not need to be concealed.

– Consider combining plain fabric colors with a few stripes, and some delightful flowered patterns.

Pamela Pierce – Swedish Chair Natural Fabrics

Swedish Chairs With Linen Slipcovers from Biskops Garden

Dining room slipcovers by Donna Jenkins


Stephen Sills’s Holiday Decor – Veranda.com

Slipcovers From brucebarone.com

1.Stunning Wingchair Slipcovered –thebrownshed.com

2. Slipcovers From store.theseasidestyle.com


4. Slipcovers Featured on brabournefarm.blogspot.com

Slipcovers In Neutral Fabrics

1, 3, 4 Unknown – 2.  Slipcovers Featured on stylecourt.blogspot.com

1.Heavy Ruffling From nineandsixteen.blogspot.com

2. Upclose Detail Of French Ticking –michellefritz.blogspot.com

3. Stunning Louis XVI Chair in Pink From Rachel Ashwell


Classical Slipcovers At Monticello.  Photography by Charlotte Moss.

Thibaut Ad

Green Gingham Sofa –Tilly’s Cottage

1. Green Gingham Slipcover-  Country Home

2.Green Desk Chair Slipcover – flickr.com

3. French Ticking Slipcover- pinkwallpaper.blogspot.com

4. Slip-covered toile Chair – Cathy Kincaid 

Slipcover Your Headboard!  Martha Stewart  

A slipcovered chair, photographed by Russel Sadur.

Dropcloth Slipcover – The Twice Remembered Cottage

Image from Country Home

1.Tips On Making Slipcovers With Drop Cloths- missmustardseed.com

2. Checked Linen Gathered Slipcovers- cotedetexas.blogspot.com

3.Paula & Erika Table Covers etsy.com

4. Knife Pleats Around A Sink- countryliving.com

Jackie Von Tobel- Jackie Blue Home Blog

1.Slipcover With A Beautiful Large Bow- beekeeperscottage.com

2. Beautiful Mahogany Gray Painted Chair With A Toile Slipcover- whendecorating.blogspot.com

3. How To Make Slipcovers- honeybearlane.com

4. Pleated Slipcover- thecottagejournal.com

Slipcovers Over A French Sofa – peekingthruthesunflowers.blogspot.com

French Flour Sack Linen Tablecloth-Jeanne dArc Living Blog

Designer Kelley Proxmire