Fabric woven with strongly contrasting horizontal stripes. The word comes from the French via Portuguese (bailadeira meaning ‘dancing girl’), from the original Latin ballare, ‘to dance’. It therefore holds an exotic association with beauty and the passion of dance.
Bayadère textile is brightly coloured, woven or printed, inspired from the heavily embroidered belts worn by the female dancers in the seraglios of Arabia. These harems were areas of a Turkish household reserved for wives and concubines. They have inspired much literature, music, art and in particularly the ballet La Bayadère–a colourful fusion of the romantic and the classical, where the central character is an Indian temple dancer.
Horizontal stripes in furnishings are often railroaded, i.e. used vertically, as this is mostly how we prefer to see our stripes, to give height, etc. However, stripes look spectacular used horizontally, somehow becoming more striking and independent. Think about bayadère stripes for walling, curtains, sofa and chair coverings, bolsters, bed heads as well as ties and decorative braids; or perhaps used for spectacular and eclectic effect as a tribute to the evocative reference.