In dressmaking, refers to a test pattern used to perfect the design before making the final garment–it embodies the process of turning an idea into reality through draping, pinning and cutting until the form is satisfactory and pleasing to the designer.
A toile is used to make the template for soft works and fitted forms: seats, screens, blinds, etc. Cutting a toile for a complex design can be a skilled job, but determining the ideal shape and proportion of a pelmet, or a loose cover design is easy to do.
The little extra time spent making a toile and ensuring your work is the best and most appropriate shape is well worth every second.
Toile is also the French word for a light cotton ground cloth , a calico, as in Toile de Jouy