Quenin fabrics by Lelievre Paris

Heritage Refrain

Quenin fabrics by Lelievre Paris

The rise of a layered, maximalist style in interiors has had some interesting side effects, one of them being the revival of traditional brands that might otherwise have been consigned to history. That’s the case with Quenin, a French fabric and wallcovering company founded in 1865; bought by Lelièvre Paris in 1973, by the 1990s it had disappeared as a distinct brand name, although Lelièvre continued to use its mill in Lyon, France’s textile-making capital. Now, Quenin has been reawakened.

“We see really different style tribes in our industry, and this meets the demand for maximalism and a return to traditional fabrics,” explained CEO Emmanuel Lelièvre, launching Quenin’s first collection at London Design Week 2024. Belle Epoque celebrates Napoleon III style, which flourished in the last half of the 19th century, with many of its designs derived from documents in Quenin’s considerable archives.

“We used old documents, and adapted it to the new style,” explained Lelièvre. ‘Églantine’ is a classic Indienne fabric updated, which has been recoloured for contemporary tastes, and redrawn to retain all the subtle irregularities of the original archive document. There’s also another classic – a toile de Jouy, ‘Belle Saison’, again in colours that you might not expect, with a complementary wallcovering, ‘Beaux Jours’, which comes in the same scale so that designers are free to create an all-over pattern across a room. ‘Ronsard’ started life as a printed archive fabric of a flower bouquet, which has been supersized and created in a woven jacquard for a tapestry-like effect.

A dainty small-scale check, ‘Cambremer’, and a punchier traditional stripe, ‘Houlgate’, provide those coordinating essentials; the colour palette has been devised so that patterns can be mixed and matched across the collection.

Lelièvre Paris, First Floor, North & Centre Domes