Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Welcome Valdrôme FRANCE Fabric

We are excited to announce our newest arrival from Provence: The beautiful Batiste Collection produced by the famous, historic design-house, Valdrôme FRANCE.

Valdrôme stands for beauty, history and quality. And we are thrilled to offer our customers a selection of Valdrôme FRANCE prints at La Cigale.

Provence nouveau. Provence authentique. Provence antique.

A Brief History of Valdrôme

At the end of the 16th century, French sailor and navigator John Valdrôme, returned from his journey to India and Persia with a bounty of richly-patterned, printed textiles called “Indiennes.” These vibrant and unusual textiles featured intricate paisley, floral, and kaleidoscopic designs created by hand using carved wood blocks and natural pigments in striking hues.

These new fabrics from the East were an instant success in France and spread like wildfire across Europe. 
Colorful Indian and Persian-inspired Valdrome prints 
In fact, demand for Indiennes was so high that craftsmen in Provence began using the Indian and Persian printing techniques to create their own fabrics and designs. Indiennes gained in popularity, especially at the 1650 Fair de St. Germaine, as the cooler, lighter Indiennes were a breath of fresh air compared to the heavy linens, wools and silks used in fashion of the day.

Textile manufacturers became threatened by the sudden success of the Indiennes, and the fabric was banned altogether, creating a booming black market for the desirable prints. Finally, in 1759, the ban was lifted and the Indiennes production in Provence flourished and evolved.

With the traditional Eastern designs in production at Valdrôme’s newly established factory in Valencia (est. 1770), Provençal artisans began travelling the French countryside, carving intricate wooden plates of pastoral scenes and floral motifs that represented their home, landscape and culture. Designs included olives, citrus blossoms, pomegranate flowers, lavender bouquets and cicadas (cigale).

And, these artisans, called “Indienneurs,” began importing rich dyes in red, indigo and golden hues of yellow made from plant juices and extracts. These design motifs and colors remain the signature style in Provençal textile design to this day.

Though the fabric-printing process has evolved since the days of wood-block printing, Valdrôme has continued to honor the rich story behind these special designs by continuing to offer the very prints that captured the imagination of Europeans and the world centuries ago.

Explore Valdrôme FRANCE at La Cigale. 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

La Cigale in Provence 2016

Ancient walled-city of Carcassonne

While friends and family have been hunkering-down and digging out of 30+ inches of snow in Mount Gretna, PA, John, Nancy and Perry are in Provence, dining with friends, exploring the countryside and ancient cathedrals and strolling along the scenic beaches.

But, John and Nancy are also meeting with a handful of design shops and weave mills to preview 2016 collections that may be offered at La Cigale. In fact, La Cigale has worked hand-in-hand with these family-run shops throughout Provence for over 15 years to deliver the highest-quality, hand-made tablecloths and accessories.

Many families who own these design studios and print mills have kept this rich tradition and heritage of textile design alive for centuries!

Stay tuned for La Cigale's new 2016 Provençal Tablecloth and Country French accessory collections on the La Cigale website and Facebook page!

Below is a little peek at what we've been up to in Provence!

Basilica Cathedral

A cat peeking in at Eygaliers

A design studio and weave mill in Provence where we get many of our colorful Tapestry Weave Tablecloths

Farmer John in the Provençal countryside

A beautiful cathedral

The scenic Menton coast

Nancy enjoying a sunny lunch of sausage and salad in Eygaliers

The best part of visiting Provence- cherished friends

A bientot!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Happy Bastille Day!

Wishing you a Happy Bastille Day from all of us at La Cigale!

Pictured here are shop owners John & Nancy Mitchell, waving their (improvised) French Flag in celebration!

Bastille Day, known as La Fête national in France, commemorates the storming of the Bastille in Paris on July 14th 1789.

More from Wikipedia:
"The French National Day commemorates the Storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789, which was the culmination in Paris of a violent revolution that had begun two days earlier, as well as the Fête de la Fédération which celebrated the unity of the French people on 14 July 1790."

Claude MonetRue Montorgueil, Paris, Festival of 30 June 1878 (public domain image)

Sunday, June 21, 2015

A Provençal Polo Picnic

We packed a picnic, complete with Provençal linens, and Champagne,  of course, and headed to Forney Field for a Lancaster Polo Club match! It was a beautiful sunny day, and there were lots of people and dogs in attendance!

Below are a few snapshots of this lovely afternoon, featuring our new Brilliant Cotton Print Provençal Tablecloth!

Setting the stage for a picnic & polo-watching

La Cigale staffer, Judy, setting the beautiful table

La Cigale owner, Nancy Mitchell, enjoying the festivities

Delicious! Lox, red onion, capers & cream cheese on a bagel

Judy's famous Deviled Eggs (a passerby even stopped and snagged one!)

This beautiful floral arrangement from Mt. Gretna's very own Mary 'The Flower Lady' set the stage

La Cigale owner, John Mitchell, mixing up a batch of refreshing Mimosas


Our Provençal cotton bags are perfect for picnic accessories!

Refills for a hot Sunday afternoon! 

Judy, John, Nancy & Katie

Prosciutto-wrapped cantaloupe, topped with a fresh mint sprig stole the show!

Saluting the American Flag on Flag Day

"Let the games begin!"

Fried chicken and French cheeses to finish off the feast!

A happy member of the Lancaster team

Nancy stomping divots between "chuckers"

Featured items from La Cigale:
Brilliant Cotton Print Tablecloth (stain & fade-resistent)
Provençal Cotton Bag (free with purchase of $100 or more)