When I was visiting Toulouse France about 5 years ago, I found the cutest little antique book shop. I was instantly drawn to the thickest, most giant book, towards the back. On the spine I read a date, if memory serves correctly, it was sometime in the early 19 th century. The title said something in slightly rubbed off french: Textile archive of the .... Atelier. When I opened it I found the most glorious samples of textiles shining before me!! Hearts were exploding from my eyes! Each little 4x4 came with weave and color descriptions, and were titled with a fancy nick name. Page after page were more and more magical textiles that I have never EVER visualized. Some looked like the wings of an insect, almost plastic, some looked like intricate jacquard ribbon of the 17th century. I came back to reality when a tiny little french lady, started to loudly insist that the book was meant for me ( Due to her carefully scanning my abundance of ribbons used in my outfit that day). Sadly, Although the book and I were obvious soul mates, I left with only a little piece of ephemera, a fish and little crepe flowers on a banjo.
This loss of "the most perfect book ever" created a new unhealthy obsession. I began searching on both the British and French eBays EVERY DAY. I was about to give up because everything was lame, and torn out single pages from a book. I finally settled on a 1930s book that had both the fabric samples and the intended designs that they were for! My heart was set on a 19th century textile book, because I already know a lot about 1930s textiles, and I thought there would be no new discoveries. I was soooo wrong and happy I did not listen to my doubts!
(I filled my desire later when I went back to Toulouse and found a small book of 19th century textile samples later!)