Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Beauty of Vintage Barkcloth

I really love the look of all kinds of vintage textiles, from old feed and flour sacks to embroidered dish towels, but barkcloth has a special place in my heart for it is not only beautiful, but it also reminds me of times long past.

Homes in the 1940's were filled with barkcloth draperies, chair covers, and pillows in stunning colors and tropical designs. Exotic birds, cabbage roses, and old-time scenes were some of the most popular prints.

The softly muted tones of barkcloth add to the peace and quiet of the day. Although I have barkcloth pieces throughout our home, I especially love them in this bedroom. So cottage cozy!

(I stitched the barkcloth pillow on the ice cream chair from a $3 piece of barkcloth found in a bin of scraps in an antique mall booth. I think someone else might have thought it wasn't ever going to amount to much of anything. But it's turned out to be one of my favorite cottage accessories!)


  1. Hello from Norway!
    You have a interesting blogg!

  2. Oh, that pillow is gorgeous!! I love the large piece behind the bed, too - as well as the two framed pictures above the chair... Thanks for visiting our "balance beam" family room post. The white slipcover on the sofa in that photo is a Surefit matelaisse slipcover. Overall it fits good, but because the sofa is a mini-camelback, the back of the slipcover is always being pulled higher and higher off the floor.. Luckily you can't see the back of the sofa in that room. I also have a white IKEA slipcover that I switch out while one or the other is being washed. However, I'd love to learn how to sew slipcovers myself so they truly had a more 'custom' fit... With the ready made ones, it seems there's just never enough material to "tuck" to really make them stay in place for everyday wear and tear... Have a wonderful week!!... Donna @ An Enchanted Cottage

  3. Hi Donna! My love seat is also a mini-camelback but the cushions are the main problem as they are the old T-Shape (I think that's what they're called anyway). I've actually shopped for a new love seat but can' t find one as comfortable as the old one. Old is good! I'll take another look at Surefit! Thanks!

  4. Love your little history lessons with the items you show. Makes it much more interesting. Sharon

  5. Perhaps I remember barkcloth from homes when I was a child as well because I've always been drawn to it without really knowing why. The wonderful colors and textures of course, but it has a special place in my heart beyond that. I didn't know it was a popular decorating fabric from days gone by.

  6. You are a girl after my own heart - I just adore vintage barkcloth, especially the tropical decos from the 1940s and the midcentury moderns from the 1950s! Thanks for sharing - the pillow is lovely!! Maybe one day I will have time to take some pics and share my collection with everyone!! Cindy