It is a very old technic from Asia then
and elaborated in Marseille trough the XVII century during the import of while
washable linen from india.
I won’t go further in the historic of the
“boutis” other people did it before me (see :
I discovered the “boutis” during an
exposition in my district and I have been subjugated by the beauty and the
fineness of the exposed pieces.
It is a work entirely hand made which
requires a lot of patience, a lot of rigour and minute detail in his execution.
With a group of friends and the help of
some books we started the meticulous pieces of work.
We started working with small pieces as
pouches in order not to be discouraged in front of the voluminous amount of
work, and also in one way, to be satisfied rapidly, because the impatience is
present when you start a new technical approach.
Then we made an approach of a bigger
piece work and we were still passionated.
With the help of drawings that I took
from magazines concerning the “boutis” and my own designs inspired from old
pictures, I created lamp shades, showing with the light, all the beauty of the
There is several technics wich are quiet
often mixed up (in today’s fashion), everything is infortunatly
called “boutis” when the design appears
stitched in relief. The real “boutis” is something else and considerating the
lot of time spent for his creation is shouldn’t be sold at the low price
proposed in the shops or on some markets.
“ Le matelassé”
ou “Le piqué marseillais”(quilted blankets,
- The pieces are made of 3 layers of
- On the top plain color or printed,
cotton, satin, silk
- Underneath usually we place an ordinary
- In the middle we place some flannel of
cotton or a layer of cotton wool, silk (or synthetic in our time)
The trapunto is made of 4 layers, one
beeing lined with fleece.
Le "vermiculé "
Looks like “the boutis” but the designs
are finer and more aereted. The contours are sawn with running stitches, the
relief is created by a wick of cotton inserted between the two layers of
The pieces are most of the time realised
in white material or off white, sometimes yellow or blue (ancient pieces) The
characteristic of the “boutis” has to be perfect as well on the right side than
wrong side, the totality of the piece is
stuffed but nevertheless if we put it in front of a window we can see a splendid
effect of transparency.
Two pieces of material are superposed :
On the top with batiste or silk (for more precious materials) on which
are drawn the designs.
- Underneath with more ordinary material.
The 2 materials are hold first by a
pattern of squares in needlelew, the contour of the designs is sawed by hand
with the shortest running stitch. The work finished, the big designs are stuffed
with the wick of cotton (or in our time with a synthetic wick) and the grooves
between the big designs called “vermicelli” are filled up with a big needle threaded
of a wick of cotton.
Click on the picture of your choice to