Thursday, February 2, 2012

1950s Vintage Fabric

I have really been on a fabric kick lately. First, I love fabric as art. I also love how it can transform the feel of a room. Since I have so many reupholstery/drapery projects waiting patiently to be started, I am hyper-focused on looking at fabric. Today I started thinking about how much I love the bold, bright patterned fabric coming back into fashion in home decor. I recently wrote about it in my Bold, Colorful Drapes post. Then it just came to grandmother's drapes! THAT'S why I love this look! I loved my grandmother's living room. I had forgotten all about it until now. So I went to my Old Picture file and searched for a picture. The picture above was taken around 1955. My Grandfather built this ranch style house in 1952. My Grandparents living room was full of the latest fashion trends of the1950s. The rug was a beautifully patterned gray & cranberry color, the sofa was also cranberry. The room was decorated in gray, cranberry and green, which seems to have been a popular combination. Note the lovely plastic coating not only the sofa, but the lamps. (The first thing my mother did when she inherited the furniture was to rip all that plastic off! My Grandmother would have been horrified.) But it's the drapes that I am really interested in. I wish I could find a better picture but from what I can see it looks like a tropical pattern.
     I went on a search to find similar fabric and I came up with some great vintage prints! The fabric my grandparent's drapes were made of is called Barkcloth. According to Wikipedia, Barkcloth is a soft, thick, slightly textured fabric, so named because it has a rough surface like that of tree bark. It is usually made of densely woven cotton fibers. Historically, the fabric has been used in home furnishings, such as curtains, drapery, upholstery, and slipcovers. It is often associated with 1940s-through-1960s home fashions, particularly in tropical, abstract, atomic and boomerang prints.



I found all of these beautiful fabrics at Full Swing Textiles


  1. Nothing says "comfort" like sitting on plastic! The fabrics are wonderful, though, and works of art in themselves. ~ Maureen

  2. Haha I know, Maureen. I wonder how covering everything with plastic ever became a popular trend!

  3. When I first saw the picture at the top I thought of my grandmothers curtains. Funny. They had a style of their own.

    1. Hi Debby, They were indeed a very distinctive style.

  4. Oh my, I pinned this and it was immediately repinned several times! You may have hit on a trend. ~ Maureen

  5. That's great! So many people are interested in vintage style, and I think these fabrics are so retro they can be looked at as fresh and edgy (especially by the 20 somethings who never saw them actually hanging in someone's home)! lol