One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1An early version of a finished garment made up in cheap material so that the design can be tested and perfected.
- ‘She doesn't work with a toile and although she can sketch, she prefers to dive in and design without one.’
- ‘He is holding up the shoe equivalent of a toile, a pre-production model, of his first trainer.’
2mass noun A translucent linen or cotton fabric, used for making clothes.
- 2.1short for toile de Jouy
- ‘Jenny hauled the side chairs home from an estate sale and slipcovered them in cotton toile.’
- ‘During a recent visit to Provence, he stayed in a room decorated completely in red and white toile.’
- ‘To create the top pillow on the stack, cut a bucolic scene from toile fabric and position it in the center of a removable pillow cover.’
- ‘You can often find this shade of blue in Oriental carpets and in French toile fabrics.’
- ‘Also in this bedroom were three pairs of early nineteenth-century French toile curtains with ball fringe.’
Late Middle English (denoting cloth or canvas for painting on): from French toile ‘cloth, web’, from Latin tela ‘web’.
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