One can’t go through the mid-century without being shown some poodles. French poodles appeared on numerous wallpapers during the 1950s. This is Gigi, printed on Super Sanitas. As you can see, Gigi is getting coiffed for a night out in Paris. The design contains 4 different scenes, showing Gigi getting coiffed and pedicured, having her hair set, and promenading with her beau in front of Club Chien. The color is predominantly pink, with accents of metallic silver and gold. Very 1950s! I always thought this fascination with the French Poodle was rather odd until I did some research. The standard poodle was the popular size of the 1930s and the one most frequently shown on wallpapers. At this time, a standard white started winning championships across Europe, and went on to win Best of Show at the Westminster Dog Show in 1935. This is the first time a poodle has ever won the top award at Madison Square Garden. The amazing publicity sparked an interest that has never subsided. By 1960, poodles had become the most popular breed in America, a title it held for many years. Also fueling the interest in all things European was the international travel boom following the war, with its new transatlantic flights.

Sanitas was an oil-impregnated fabric introduced in 1903 by the Standard Table Oil Cloth Company and was one of the early washable wallcoverings. The fabric support was initially soaked in oil pigments which created a very durable, washable surface. As technology advanced the manufacturer began treating the fabric with latex and the product was renamed Super Sanitas. There were very few washable wallpapers prior to 1934 so Sanitas was a major advancement in wallcoverings. Sanitas is still available today.

8 thoughts on “Fascinated with French Poodles

This wallpaper was in our previous home. It was in the only room I didn’t update. this 2 pieced bathroom was affectionately referred to as “the Poodle Parlour. Where can I order it from and what is the price?

Hi. This poodle wallcovering is called Gigi and was a Super Sanitas produced in 1960. I checked the websites of two vintage wallpaper dealers, Second Hand Rose and Hannah’s Treasures, and neither had this design in stock. The Sanitas company is still in business but I didn’t notice this design in their current production. Not sure what else to suggest.

This was the wallpaper in our pink tiled bathroom in the 1960’s. I wish I had a panel of it. As a small child I was quite fascinated by it.

I think this might have been the wallpaper in my grandparent’s bathroom. Does this wallpaper have little shimmery spots on it? Thanks!

The bathroom that we, 6 sisters shared, has this wallpaper today! The vanity and tub have pink ceramic tile…..

My grandmother was a beautician who died 3 years ago. She was 103 when she died. When she and my grandfather had their house built in the 50’s, she had a beauty parlor built onto the front of the house. And she did hair and nails (and sold herbs and vitamins) there well into her 90’s. This wallpaper was in the beauty parlor. I never visited my grandma without seeing this wallpaper. It was three years ago today that I last walked out of her house and I snapped a picture of this paper on my way out. I hope to find a roll or two of it someday and do my bathroom.

My wife and I bought a condo from an older couple (a VP of Jim Beam) in Chicago 20 years ago. They had the greatest wall coverings! One wallpaper had bamboo and monkeys or something. The bathroom had this wallpaper and there was no way we were removing it. We ended up making it the doggy bathroom, a tradition that still holds, hanging pictures of ours and friends dogs in the bathroom. We wish we had just a rectangle of “Gigi” to frame. I will do my best googling…but seeing it here brings back incredible memories!!!

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