The magic of Moire
A thoughtful choice for a special collection
The AVA BABY and AVA BABY FLEUR bags are iconic, jewelled bags from Maison MASHA KEJA, and our customers love them ! Thanks to their exquisite cannetille embroidery, the history behind these beautiful bags is a story that we love to tell. The flap of this model is available in several types: lambskin with a nappa finish, lambskin with a taffeta finish, delicate suede, and in sumptuous python.
Today, we are excited to feature a version that we love for its captivating charm: the leather and moire version. This version of our AVA BABY is unique with its lustrous, satiny ripples. Moire embodies the Haute Couture spirit so perfectly and plunges us into the history of our country.
A few words about moire
Moire is a fabric with the appearance of shimmering reflections dispersed through small waves, created by crushing the grain of the fabric. In the past, this was a process of refinement, which captivated French nobility in Lyon, the mother city of this "magic" fabric. In the 17th and 18th centuries, moire adorned royal interiors and was highly popular in the manufacture of luxurious clothing for men and women. We also find moire in accessories such as shoes, bags, belts or hats. Let’s explore the French heritage of the 17th and 18th centuries together, through our leather and moire AVA BABY with cannetille.
The origin of a noble fabric
Moire was a real success during the 17th century, but its origins date back even further and more precisely to the times of Ancient Egypt. The Egyptians layered thin strips of cotton and linen fabric on top of papyrus, and observed an effect similar to the moire that we know today. It was not until the end of the 17th century that moire began to become available, thanks to a very precise manufacturing process. At that time, fabrics had to be folded in the middle and crushed under large boulders weighing up to 40 tons, which required considerable effort and a long manufacturing time. This process is called Ancient Moire, and a perfect symmetry of the wave-like pattern on the fabric was obtained.
In France, the manufacture of moire originated in the city of Lyon. It first appeared in the country under the reign of Louis XV in wall decorations, then very quickly in fashion, especially for the creation of exceptional clothing and accessories. Jacques Vaucanson, a French mechanic and inventor, was commissioned by the government to improve the manufacture of moire, in order to facilitate its use. This is how French moire was born, made with a device of mechanical cylinders, and whose ripples were similar to pretty, diverging reflections in the water.
The unique beauty of moire
Moire was originally woven from silk, wool, cotton or linen. Nowadays, it is made from Trevira, a flame retardant polyester fiber, which protects it from warping and makes it easier to maintain. Its manufacturing process produces contrasting effects of shimmering lustre and matte finish, achieved by the crushing of certain parts of the fabric using purpose-built machines. The moiré effect has wide appeal, thanks especially to the unique reflection of colors and light, which radiate differently depending on our angle of view, and make the ripples seem to come to life. Moire is intended predominantly for Haute Couture and luxury furnishings due to its quite rare, prestigious craftsmanship, and we are thrilled to be able to offer you unique pieces incorporating moire! With its noble beauty and refinement, our designer MASHA KEJA chose moire as the perfect accompaniment for AVA BABY’s leather and sumptuous cannetille embroidery.
If you want to discover moire through the history of fashion, we invite you to explore engraved works from the nineteenth century at Paris’ beautiful Palais Galliera. Here you find silhouettes of women dressed in costumes of the time, whose hats were created from moire and adorned with satin ribbons. It is also possible to admire dresses constructed from antique moire at Paris’ Museum of Textiles and Decorative Arts.
MASHA KEJA’s moire and leather pieces are available in several elegant colors: black, burgundy and royal blue, all embroidered in gold or silver cannetille featuring our iconic logo or a delicate branch of mimosa. We warmly invite you to discover the magic of these small luxury leather and moire flap bags for yourselves in our Paris pop-up store this June and July, open Tuesday to Sunday at 41 rue Vieille du Temple, or throughout the year in our showroom in Neuilly-sur-Seine, by appointment.