Textiles history comes alive

Limitless possibilities

Ever growing and ever adapting, the textile industry is a living, breathing creature. Technology, new creations and a world of influence weave together to produce patterns limitless in their possibilities. And, perhaps the greatest catalyst in the industry’s continued evolution and growth is its fascinating history.

Our fall 2015 trip to Paris

Pierre Frey embraces both the history and the future of textiles. And, they captured the hearts of the Custom Drapery Designs team during our fall 2015 trip to Paris.

The Pierre Frey showroom and museum archives houses fragile silk pieces dating to the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. These protected pieces simply took our breath away and fueled our creative side…as they do for the artisans at Pierre Frey!

Archives

Sophie Rouart, Director of Heritage of the Pierre Frey house spent hours sharing her passion for these materials with us during our tour. She showed us each piece and gave us details on the history behind them. Delicious silks are preserved in drawers by century and continue to live through the reproductions they inspire.

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Designers eye antique fabrics and draw the designs to scale on graph paper. They alter thread choices and the patterns’ sizes, giving birth to a modern interpretation of these lovely preservations. As their website declares, “This is an art that imitates life to inspire and delight.”

Pierre Frey proudly preserves more than antique fabrics. They embrace centuries-old techniques in order to reproduce period textiles. The company, which began in 1935, purchases fabric mills which boast a history of mastery in their craft. These mills often still work with their original looms.

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Several houses purchased by Pierre Frey include Braquenié, which was founded in 1824; Fadini Borghi, an Italian-born house specializing in silks; and Boussac, a house with a more modern focus. At the heart of Pierre Frey are the people who work there, and the company values family as well as fine craftsmanship. We visited with Pierre Frey, son of the founding Pierre Frey, during our visit.

Textiles have been a huge part of life since Adam and Eve discovered the need for clothes. But, over time, this need has developed into a passion and a search for the unique while keeping in touch with its origins. Textiles have brought the world together through trade and inspiration. From the Silk Road to the traditions of the fabric mills of North France to the first U.S. factory and the Father of the Industrial Revolution in America, Samuel Slater, textiles have developed over time, layering the rich heritage of the past with the global awareness and new ideas of the present and the technological advancements in production and materials of the future.

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