Lee Jofa’s Flower Fabrics Celebrating 200 Year Birthday

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By Jill Brooke

As Lee Jofa celebrates its 200th anniversary as one of the world’s powerhouse producers of fabrics and wallpapers, one can’t help but go down memory lane.

All the chintz patterns. The geometrics. The kaleidoscope of colors.

The caressing of fabric quality from interior design greats like Constance Spry and Dorothy Draper to Kelly Wearstler and Kit Kemp,

Of course, there are also the one-hit wonders and patterns that are no longer popular. But there are also the fabrics that truly have stories to tell. A pattern that endures. And endures. For over 100 years.

One example is a fabric called “The Tree of Life,” a composition of birds, flowers, and swirling vitality.

What is rooted within the threads of this “Tree of Life” fabric that makes it endure the test of time? What makes it special and hum along happily covering armchairs, sofas, and chairs decade, after decade?

“It tells a wonderful story,” explains Lee Jofa’s creative director Stephen Elrod. “It resonates about the continuity of life. The design is also bold, graphic, and also has a lot of color. It is also hand-blocked.”

As was announced at a collaboration event at MarieBelle chocolate shop in downtown Manhattan, the “Tree of Life’ is now being made into a wallpaper as well as two new color blocks. A first, in 100 years.

Plus MarieBelle, the boutique chocolate company known for taking an image and transferring it onto the chocolate treats, created a chocolate bar inspired by the fabric that is now for sale.

Alana Moskowitz, VP of Communications for Kravet/LeeJofa/Brunschwig & Fils | Donghia, also revealed that at the upcoming Flower Magazine Baton Rouge Showhouse, designer James Farmer will be using the wallpaper for one of the rooms come November.

Farmer’s work may mark the “Tree of Life’s” wallpaper debut, but its design roots have not only a great history but also a pedigree. It is also kind of touching in a culture where so much vanishes in seconds, that this one fabric design has touched millions of people over a century and now has the opportunity to do the same magic with millions more.

Jill Brooke is a former CNN correspondent, Post columnist and editor-in-chief of Avenue and Travel Savvy magazine. She is an author and the editorial director of FPD and a contributor to Florists Review magazine.