What a potentially fun project!

Richard Saja is a New York City craftsman that has been repurposing toile de Jouy stories for the past 10 years.



Toile is an inexpensive linen or muslin fabric. Toile de Jouy originated in France in the late 18th century and literally means "cloth from Jouy-en-Josas", a town of north central France. 

Toile de Jouy is a type of patterned fabric, mainly used in upholstery, that depicts a story or pastoral scene such as a couple having a picnic by a lake. It usually has a solid background with the print in one color.

Saja adds an irreverent humor to these pastoral stories by embroidering a mohawk on the children,

placing beaks on the men,

tales on the women,

and so many other fun additions.

He is collaborating with the fashion house of Christian Lecroix on pillows that morph a somber black and white toile of the Roman ruin of Arles into a city filled with tourists resembling Big Bird.

Last year the fashion label Opening Ceremony used his toile clad Keds for their show.

Wouldn't it be fun to try this yourself and use it on a completely modern piece of small furniture like an ottoman, a stool, or a tulip chair? Maybe a seat cushion for a galvanized aluminum chair?

It doesn't take much embroidery. Just a small addition on the side or corner of your piece or pillow.


Richard Saja's firm, Historically Inaccurate