What is a foulard?
A foulard is a lightweight fabric, either twill or plain-woven, made of silk or a mix of silk and cotton.
Foulards usually have a small printed design of various colors. Foulard can also refer by metonymy to articles of clothing, made from this fabric.
In men's ties, foulard refers to the pattern rather than the material; it is a small-scale pattern with basic block repeat, also called a set pattern or a tailored pattern.
Foulard is believed to have originated in East Asia. The word comes from the French word foulard, with the same proper and metonymic meanings. In modern French, foulard is the usual word for a scarf or neckerchief.
Foulard fabric is also used in home décor wall coverings. The fabric, which is figured with a pattern printed in various colours, is used for dress material, handkerchiefs, scarves, and neckties.
Fine textiles made from good-quality cotton yarn or man-made fibres are also sold as foulard and are used for the same purposes as the silk version.