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What is Matelasse?

What is Matelasse?

Matelasse is one of those decorating terms that baffles many folks; even pronouncing the word is a challenge!  Read on to learn about matelasse and how it can be used in your home decor.

Amazon matelasse coverlet

A traditionally-styled matelasse coverlet available at Amazon

“Matelasse” (pronounced mat-lah-say‘) refers to a particular method of weaving fabric to form a thick, “quilted” appearance without the use of stitching.  The fabric is often produced on a jacquard loom, and threads from the back layer of the fabric are interwoven with the front layer of fabric to create a tone-on-tone pattern.  This form of weaving creates a thick, heavy fabric that appears to have batting or fill between the layers, but it does not.

matelasse bedskirt

A modern matelasse bedskirt available at Pottery Barn

Matelasse fabrics are available for use on upholstered furniture and even on window treatments, but it is most often seen in bedspreads, pillows and bedskirts.  Matelasse patterns range from geometrics to leaves, stripes, flowers or wallpaper damask patterns.  They can look very cottagey and traditional in style, or they can be ultra-contemporary, depending on the color and pattern.  While matelasses were traditionally found in white or ivory, they are available in many colors today.

matelasse coverlet

A modern matelasse coverlet from Restoration Hardware

Matelasses can mix nicely with nearly any home decor style; consider bringing it in on a decorative pillow or a new bedding set to give it a try in your home this year.

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One Response to What is Matelasse?

  1. […] is one of those decorating terms that often confuses people.  Like “matelasse,” this French word even has many tongues tied in knots!  Read on to learn a bit about […]

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