Textile Society of America


Date of this Version



From Creating Textiles: Makers, Methods, Markets. Proceedings of the Sixth Biennial Symposium of the Textile Society of America, Inc. New York, NY, September 23–26, 1998 (Earleville, MD: Textile Society of America, Inc., 1999).


Copyright © 1998 by the author(s)


The Eisenhower toile is a twentieth-century textile with a story to tell-through its motifs and its creators. The motifs in this toile represent the story of Dwight D. Eisenhower's life. The creation of the Eisenhower toile is a story of mystery and intrigue involving a famous American couple, Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower; a prominent interior designer, Elisabeth Draper; a prestigious textile company, F. Schumacher & Co.; and a mystery designer.

The Eisenhower toile is a printed cotton produced by F. Schumacher & Co. of New York from 1956 to 1960. Schumacher produced the 36" wide fabric with a 36" repeat in ten colorways:

  • Mistletoe Green
  • Pheasant Gold
  • Ruby
  • Charcoal & White
  • JouyBlue
  • Carnation Pink
  • Toile Red & White
  • Apricot
  • Oak Brown

The design features buildings and emblems important in Dwight Eisenhower's life and career, surrounded by floral symbols. (Fig. 1) The buildings and what they represent are:

Columbia University, of which Eisenhower was President in 1948--49 Gettysburg Farm, which was the Eisenhower's vacation and retirement home White House North Portico entrance, residence when he was President Denver, Colorado home of Mrs. Eisenhower, where the couple were married Abilene, Kansas home, where President Eisenhower was born West Point, where the President completed his military training.