Our story begins in Provence, in the 1600s, when hand-painted cottons from India were introduced by the "Compagnie des Indes". The foreign cottons know as 'Les Indiennes" grew to be in such demand they threatened local weaving industries and were banned.
In France from 1686 to 1759, they could be neither imported nor worn. Accordingly the French textile industry started to create its own fabrication workshops. Installed in Avignon, the "Indienneurs" moved to Orange after the prohibition of the activity by the Pope. The fabrication needed many steps. The first was to whiten the linens. Heated, then dried, they were decorated with the help of drawings already made on a piece of paper with little holes (stencils). Rubbed with charcoal, the drawing appeared. Then the colors were put on with a wooden board carved in relief. The female workers called "pinceauteuses" retouched the drawings with a paintbrush. At last the "Indiennes" were washed and dried.
In Provence, the coton fabrics, in spite of the industrial mechanization and the progressive disappearance of factories, have always kept faithful to the ancient techniques. Today, printed by hand or by big brass rollers, the productions are inspired by craftsman's drawings, sculpted and made more than two hundreds years ago, and use authentic ancient documents to find treasures of design, always renewed.
Today, PROVENCE SOLEIL continues to bring these much loved fabrics that delight the senses to our customers. Our roots will always be in Provence, where our products are imagined and produced to this very day.