a personal guide to good eating & drinking

Sunday, January 30th, 2011


Olivades factory outlet


Chemin des Indienneurs
13103 Saint-Etienne-du-Grès
04 90 49 18 04

Cast a wary eye on the fabrics in bright provençal designs that festoon every market. Most are cheap imports. Olivades claims to be the only company still manufacturing traditional fabrics in Provence. You’ll find its shops in Aix, Avignon, Carpentras, Nîmes, Saint-Rémy and Vaison… but why not go one better and pick up some bargains at this factory outlet? As the address suggests, it stands on the spot where indienne fabrics inspired by designs brought back from the east centuries ago have been produced for almost 200 years.

As well as exquisite prints in a glorious array of patterns and colours, sold by the metre, you’ll find napkins, table runners, tablecloths and other items to bring a touch of la vraie Provence to your table.  Alongside the traditional designs, Olivades has introduced a contemporary range of plain colours, stripes and checks. But for my money (a fair bit of it, over the years), the rich indienne prints are the star attraction. Admire their subtle colour combinations, feel the quality of the fabric, and you’ll think twice before yielding to temptation at a market stall ever again.

Guided morning tours of the fabric printing workshop (in English) can be arranged by appointment.

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