The Pochoir technique was used mainly in France from the 1880's to 1930's. Pochoir printing was used in industrial design, interiors, textile, and architecture.
The work of major period furniture designers and architects, such as Eileen Gray, René Herbst, Robert Mallet-Stevens, and Charlotte Perriand are colorfully documented in these folios. Similarly, French pattern books of this period, consisting entirely of pochoir images of floral, insect-animal, and geometric forms, were created to inspire primarily fabric, interior and wallpaper designers. Featured in this display are the floral and geometric patterns of Edouard Benedictus' Relais , insect motifs in E. A. Seguy's Papillons and Insectes as well as abstract forms created by Sonia Delaunay in Compositions, Couleurs, Idées.
Pochoir incorporates the use of numerous stencils for applying individual colours using watercolour or gouage to the one sheet. A craftsman known as a découpeur would cut stencils with a straight-edged knife. The stencils were made of aluminum, copper, or zinc and plastic in the C20th. Stencils created by the découpeur would be passed on to the colourists. The colourists applied the pigments using a variety of different brushes and methods of paint application to create the finished pochoir print.
The Pochoir technique was labour intensive, expensive and slow. As a result, techniques such as lithography and serigraphy, mechanized in nature, replaced pochoir as a method colour printing.