Piece of late 19th or early 20th century printed cretonne. Piece of late 19th or early 20th century printed cretonne.

Cretonne is a decorative material with large, printed floral patterns. The term cretonne derives from the name of the village of Creton in Normandy, France. Here the local people produced a strong, coarse woven material with a hemp warp and a linen weft.

In England, in the latter half of the nineteenth century and in imitation of the 'original' cretonne cloth, the word cretonne was applied to a strong, coarse and unglazed cotton cloth that was printed with brightly coloured patterns, often floral. Cretonne was used for chair covers, curtains and so forth.

In late nineteenth century North America, the term cretonne was also sometimes used for chintz material (a fine, glazed material normally with a printed floral pattern) that was cut up for a form of appliqué. This type of work was called cretonne appliqué.


  • TORTORA, Phyllis G. and Ingrid JOHNSON (2014). The Fairchild Books: Dictionary of Textiles, 8th edition, London: Bloomsbury, p. 159.
  • (retrieved 12 May 2016)
  • Shorter English Oxford Dictionary: ‘Cretonne.’

Digital source of illustration (retrieved 30 June 2016).


Last modified on Sunday, 05 March 2017 13:20
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