In my book America's Printed Fabrics 1770-1890 I discussed foulards:
One distinctive print style is a small isolated figure set in diagonal repeat. Figures fall in a half-drop repeat with rows aligned in staggered fashion, giving the over-all effect of a diamond grid. The figure may be a flower, leaf, paisley cone, or motif so abstract it is identified only as a mignonette (little fancy). The print style with its diagonal, neat design is also known as an Indienne, a copy of an Indian-style print. And, because these prints were so fashionable for scarves, the French word for scarf, foulard, came to mean any half-drop print of isolated small figures. In the years between 1840 and 1865, Americans craved foulards to the point that they became a standard for American clothing and quilts.
Portraits from the 1860s featuring dresses with foulard style prints
Quilt block from about 1850-1860 with a light foulard-style dot and a dark foulard-style geometric
Below are two foulard style reproductions from the Civil War Homefront collection with the original document prints.
You'll note we changed the colors a bit, toning down some of the reds. You'll also see that the originals are sharper, one advantage to the old-fashioned copper roller. Mills use screen printing today, which creates a softer edge to the figures.
For more about America's Printed Fabrics 1770-1890 check the publisher's website by clicking here and scrolling down to the bottom:
It's been translated into French too.
Below: Gretchen in Atlanta has posted a photo of a "Hidden Stars" quilt top made from a Layer Cake precut package of Civil War Homefront on her blog Stella Bella Quilts. The pattern is from Pam & Nicky Lintott's Layer Cake, Jelly Roll and Charm Quilts. She added yellow yardage for the stars to the Layer Cake's 10-inch squares. You can see how the foulard prints add a grid of pattern.