Traditions - General Info Section
Tissu Vichy – Checkered woven fabric
Tissu Vichy - characteristics
Tissu Vichy is a highly popular fabric in France!
This checkered cotton fabric traditionally comes in soft colours such as pastel pink or blue.
However, it also comes in darker hues such as royal blue, navy blue, red and green.
Indeed, a diversity of colours regularly appears on the market to adapt to seasonal trends.
That said, the Tissu Vichy always comes in white with another colour, i.e. as white-pink, white-blue etc ...
The threads are dyed before weaving, and the size of the squares may vary, however the standard size is 8mn by 15mn.
The fabric is identical on both sides and therefore has no right or reverse side.
This peculiarity makes it very popular with dressmakers!
This basic checkered pattern has been traditionally woven for centuries in most countries around the world.
However, the British imported it in Europe during the 17th century.
They called it gingham, a word they made out from its Malay name genggang meaning lined.
The Tissu Vichy was quite fashionable during the Second Empire in the second part of the 19th century.
However, its popularity eventually declined and it became mostly used for school-children uniforms and lingerie.
Brigitte Bardot made Tissu Vichy trendy!
The pattern regained popularity in 1959 when Brigitte Bardot married Jacques Charrier.
Indeed, the iconic French actress didn’t wear a traditional white wedding dress, but a dress in pastel pink Tissu Vichy!
Brigitte was then considered 'the most beautiful in the world'.
From then on the Tissu Vichy became the emblem of femininity, and thousands of dresses similar to those she wore were sold.
School-children's uniforms also experienced a resurgence in popularity.
However, the trend of Tissu Vichy lasted only ten years, and ended up being seen as 'old fashioned'.
Some designers attempted but failed to relaunch the trend in the late 2000s!
The Tissu Vichy is widely used, though, for home furnishings as it is a resistant and good value for money fabric.
The red and white checkered pattern is a traditional country pattern attached to picnics, cottages’ tablecloths and curtains.
It is also largely used in the packaging of countless food products such as sausages, cheeses and jams as it is associated with terroir, tradition and homemade labels.
Pastel pink or blue, however, are still very popular for the decoration of children's rooms.