Toile vs tulle

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Toile may describe a translucent fabric made from linen or cotton with a repeating pattern of decoration printed on it. The decoration is usually a traditional pattern rendered in a single color. Toile fabric may be used for clothing, sheets, wall coverings or upholstery. Toile may also refer to a practice garment rendered in an inexpensive fabric to facilitate experimentation and alterations. Toile is a borrowed French word, originally meaning cloth or web.

Tulle is a fabric that resembles netting, it may be made from nylon, silk or cotton. Tulle is very fine and light, it is often used in veils, ballet tutus and gowns. Tulle is named for a town in France which was famous for lace and silk, and is most probably where tulle fabric was invented.


French baroque style is also characterized by ornate carvings and details (like the intricate toile wallpaper and chandeliers), and heavy brocades. (The Napa Valley Register)

A toile — window treatment fabric — that Fischer designed features historic paintings and images of Jonestown and the mansion, along with the signature of Carroll, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. (The Baltimore Sun)

A good bespoke bridal label will make toile versions of your dress first before they make it in the final fabric so there aren’t any mistakes. (Vogue Magazine)

Though Emilia was covered from top-to-toe in tulle, she added a hint of sex appeal by layering a slinky satin slip dress beneath. (The Daily Mail)

After playing a meta Coco Chanel in another house film, here the actress wears all black — lace tights, a silky crepe dress, a tulle jacket — while showing off a new version of the label’s 2.55 calfskin bag. (New York Magazine)

Around the corner, a cloud of tulle bursts out from a sleeveless ballgown made of stripe-printed West African cotton. (The Seattle Times)