Should we be surprised that bouclé, a favourite of iconic fashion houses and equally consequential Mid-century designers, has made a roaring comeback all these decades later? From the iconic Chanel skirt suit (from which, incidentally, Jackie Kennedy took inspiration for the pink and navy-trimmed wool boucle suit she wore the day of her husband JFK’s assassination) to Vladimir Kagan’s sinuous Serpentine sofa—a favourite of the design set—bouclé was a mark of luxury design.
“We are working a lot with natural materials,” reveals Charu Gandhi of LuxDeco 100 design studio Elicyon, “Bouclé, wool and linen have replaced silk and sheen fabrics. Bouclé is a beautiful fabric to work with on upholstery and really lends itself to rounder, softer furniture styles that are also popular. We are incorporating a lot of curved, sculptural pieces upholstered in rich bouclé, often in quite neutral tones, which lets the fabric speak for itself. Bouclé can also be a great fabric to use on a statement headboard and adds a fashionable note to a space.”
Image Credit: Stephanie Coutas
The characteristically looped fibre and the fabric which it makes takes its name from the French word meaning “looped” or “curled”. Its nubby texture is created during the plying process whereby a fibre—usually wool but sometimes silk or other finer fabrics—is held taut whilst looser fibres naturally create random loops in the yarn.
These days it’s particularly popular amongst French designers and those who seek to replicate their look with furniture designer Christophe Delcourt and Pierre Yovanovitch trading in curvaceous pieces upholstered in the textured fabric.
Image Credit: Elicyon
And what does LuxDeco’s own design studio have to say about the interior design trend? LuxDeco Interiors Director Linda Holmes discusses the material’s versatility: “A white bouclé sofa is a classic choice for the modern Parisian look. A white boucle sofa, tall ceilings, sculptural coffee table and great art—it’s so French.”
“But, because of its Mid-century history, bouclé feels quite retro too and a bouclé chair wouldn’t feel out-of-place in a vibrant rust orange or an olive green if you’re looking for a pop of colour. Taking it further, bouclé in charcoal grey or even black gives it yet another feel too—those darker tones rethink bouclé in a modern way.”
Header image: Elicyon