Friday, January 2, 2009

For The Love of Barkcloth

I adore vintage textiles and fabrics, so I thought I would share my favorite which is Barkcloth. Barkcloth gets its name from a primitive fabric which is made from the fibers of tree bark found in tropical and subtropical countries. The outer bark is stripped from the tree with the inner bark separated from the outer bark. The inner bark is then beaten with wooden beaters on an anvil to spread the fibers. Larger cloths are made by layering and felting smaller pieces together during the beating phase.


Barkcloth made its way to France in the 1920's and was made using cotton mixed with rayon. The introduction to barkcloth to the United States was the imported material from France known as cretonne, a woven cloth with a nubby texture. By the 1930's Barkcloth was manufactured in America and from upholstered furnishing to window treatments and was favored for it's durability and dense weave.


Florals, geometrics, abstracts, botanticals, leaves and birds are all common designs. Today many design houses are reproducing barkcloth using older designs. If you're buying barkcloth fabric for one of your project's, be sure to ask if it is vintage or a reproduction.


A new addition to the Pink Pig is this beautiful sofa with matching club chair. This set is from the 1920's and the barkcloth slipcovers are in excellent condition. I love the coordinating pillows that match the seat cushion on the chair. A perfect and romantic set for any Cottage Home. I would love to see your favorite collection of barkcloth. Please send me a photo of your favorite barkcloth collection...it could be a pillow or chair or maybe a beautiful set of drapes in your bedroom. pigpinkw@yahoo.com