Saturday, July 5, 2008

Vintage Barkcloth

Ok, those of you that know me, know that I am completely in love with vintage barkcloth, all sorts of patterns.....1930s florals, 1940s tropicals, the midcentury atomic and geometric prints from the 1950s, and the mod and flashy colors and patterns from the 1960s. I just cannot help myself, I love the different textures and the sturdiness of it. So utilitarian and so beautiful.

Please allow me to share with you a mini history of barkcloth fabric......In the late 1930s American designers and weavers introduced their version of barkcloth to the world. Their designs reflected what was popular in décor at the time. Florals, and especially tropicals were the earliest motifs. By the 1940s, barkcloth was one of the most common fabrics in the home. It was pretty much made to be indestructible. It was used to cover furniture, make window treatments and other home and personal accessories. (Next time you watch an old movie, look at the draperies in the background.) The vat dyes came first, then the screen prints. Just about any design imaginable was available... tropicals, leaves, birds, romantic scenes from far away countries, old fashioned scenes, wild abstract shapes, children's prints, animals, subtle and delicate florals...All in beautiful vivid colors cheering up our nation during and after the war. During the 1950s, barkcloth was absolutely indispensable! By the 1960s, more and more manmade fibers were used in décor items and in the early 1970s barkcloth quickly disappeared. There has been a rise in interest and reproductions have been made, but they do not hold a candle to the original vintage designs and textures.

It is amazing to me that this fabric has endured, so when I find a piece, I grab it, and restore it to its glory and stash it away for maybe a pillow, or just to take out, look at and put back away. Yes, I am a vintage textile junkie!  Below are a some of the pillows that I have crafted with vintage barkcloth. Hope you enjoy...

Mid-Century Amoeba

Mid-Century Abstract

1940s Tropical

Mid-Century Botanical
This pillow was featured in Real Living Magazine last August.

1940s Tropical

1940s Glen Court
This was a very popular pattern, it came in lots of colors and textures.

1940s Tropical

1930s Floral

I hope you enjoyed the post today, I love sharing about things that I love - thanks for stopping by and if you see something that you like, check my shops. If you are looking for a particular pattern, send me an email, I may have it or something like it - Have a blessed day!!