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Prelle et Cie has manufactured beautiful silk and velvet fabrics since 1752, using the same techniques for over 200 years. It is located in Lyon, France, and has locations in Paris and New York.
During World Shibori Network’s 7ISS, participants visited the mill to have a look at the practice of creating velvet on a handloom. Visitors were shown through the mill and the delicate process of hand cut velvet.
Now, the Vanderbilt Biltmore house is restoring many of it’s rooms, and has requested Prelle to manufacture a cut and uncut velvet fabric that will be an exact replica of the fabric which was purchased by George Vanderbilt.
“Tyrolean Chimney Room
The focal point of the Chimney Room is the over-mantel, constructed from a tile-stove known as a kachelöfen that George Vanderbilt purchased in his travels through Europe. Stoves like this were used in central and northern Europe from the Middle Ages to heat castles, palaces, and ecclesiastical buildings. Eventually, they came to be used in the residences of the wealthy. Vanderbilt most likely purchased this stove in the Tyrol region of Austria. Created in the 18th century, it is comprised of tin-glazed earthenware tiles hand-painted with exquisite floral designs.
The wallpaper in this room is an exact reproduction of the original, a simple but elegant floral design with delicate gold striping in the background. Biltmore contracted with Atelier d’Offard, a small company in Tours, France, that specializes in traditional block-printed wallpapers, to create an exact reproduction.
One of the most elaborate fabrics in the Biltmore House collection, a cut and uncut silk velvet in beautiful shades of ivory, red, and green, is being reproduced for use in this room. Prelle, a silk workshop in Lyon, France that has been in the same family for over 250 years, is weaving this fabric on century-old Jacquard looms in the exact same manner as the original fabric purchased by George Vanderbilt.”
If you are in Asheville, the Prelle fabric, among other custom fabrics, will be on display at the Biltmore Estate. These historical pieces are carefully made and will be beautiful to see in person.