6 places to buy barkcloth

retro barkcloth patternsVintage or reproduction barkcloth is a wonderful fabric for mid century rooms. I particularly like it for draperies and coordinating pillows — be sure to get upholstery weight. I have experience with at least three barkcloths on the market today — and currently, we count five places to buy vintage style reproduction barkcloth.

1950s style barkcloth#1 Full Swing Textiles

OUT OF BUSINESS. And what a shame. These fabrics were the best of the bunch (which is why they were also the most costly). The first two images above are (or were) from Full Swing Textiles. UPDATE Jan. 2015: Get this while you can, they are going out of business! Tip: If you buy, be sure to get the discount code from their homepage and use it on checkout.

They have a wonderful, wide selection of barkcloth styles — from tropicals and botanicals to 1950s googie atomic… to Adirondack camp style…. to solids and stripes. Their fabrics are not cheap — but they sent me a whole bundle of swatches last year, and oh my, they are the real deal.

hawaii barkcloth#2 Diamondhead Fabrics / Barkcloth Hawaii

Diamonhead Fabrics seems to be a motherlode for designs also sold elsewhere.  Before making a big purchase you are going to want to see samples and do research on durability, colorfastness and hand remembering that, usually, you get what you pay for. Link: Diamondhead Fabrics.

boomerang barkcloth#3 Tonic Living.

UPDATE: This company does not seem to have any barkcloth stock currently (March 2016). Search “barkcloth” to see if this changes. Link: Tonic Living fabrics.

mambo barkcloth#4 J & O

J&O is a big online retailer, and they have a number of designs to look at, too — many of them also seem to come from Diamondhead, but there’s this black one (above) that seems to be left from some earlier printing somewhere else. Link: J&O Fabrics.

retro-inspired-barkcloth#5 Jessica Jones

And above: New in 2015: Four designs, eight colorways from Jessica Jones.

retro barkcloth patternsAnd this year: Four more designs from Jessica Jones.

Of course, when it comes to draperies… or for fabric for pillows… you also can put your vibes out there and wait for the retro decorating gods to send some vintage your way — eBay and etsy are also good places to stalk.


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  1. Raelene from Australia says

    I used the Mambo barkcloth (last picture) but in gray on our club lounge with co-ordinating cushions in black & red. Had it done about 10 years ago & I still love it. I got it from reprodepot.com but they appear to have closed down.

  2. Dee Dee says

    Why oh why are the retro gods not providing us with all the awesome repro barkcloth anymore? For a while there, a new line would come out every couple years (Boomerang Beat was always my favorite), but there hasn’t been a sign of new stuff from the major manufacturers in a few years now. Don’t they know there’s a whole horde of us desperately seeking atomic barkcloth loveliness?

  3. says

    Aloha, I just wanted to mention that the nubby upholstery barkcloth on our site was copied from a vintage piece of bark cloth. The weave was examined under a magnifying glass and followed precisely. In order to offer a wider variety of vintage style tropical patterns we also offer a bark crepe style where the threads are not twisted so the fabric is flat as well as a few other style choices that range in price. Currently Barkcloth Hawaii Fabrics is offering a discount to Facebook members or mention you saw us here and we can give you a 10% discount. I’m available to answer any questions.

  4. mcDevlin says

    Beware of buying unseen on eBay. We bought some new vintage-patterned “bark cloth” from a seller (edited), listed as drapery weight but it was NOT. It was very flimsy, maybe suitable for making a Hawaiian style shirt. We also bought some new barkcloth in a medium weight, with that great texture, from J&O in New Jersey. That was indeed drapery weight and made fabulous curtains. So, good reproduction barkcloth is out there, just be careful where you shop.

    • pam kueber says

      mcDevlin, I edited your post with the name of the ebay seller. NOTE: You have recourse to return items that do not match up to the listing.

  5. Terri says

    Okay, I just went swatch crazy. I’m looking for something to go in my knotty pine kitchen that will be redone with red formica countertops and a red/cream/chocolate linoleum floor. Many windows in kitchen, must have curtains. Can’t wait!

  6. Jean says

    So, question. I just bought some really lovely vintage barkcloth with geometric design on ebay for only $2, and though it arrived smelling heavily of cigarettes and stale perfume (which the seller didn’t note…surprise), I’m not bothered because I have an online vintage clothing store and so have done more than my fair share of dealing with such things. But I’ve never made curtains before. I want to line them so they don’t fade in the sun, but will that mess with the drape? Barkcloth has such a unique texture. I was thinking of using a cotton flannel interlining and a cotton of some sort outer lining. Bad idea? What’s the best cotton to use as the outer lining? I’m planning to make scalloped pinch pleats a la the 4th image at http://retrorenovation.com/2009/08/17/16-cafe-curtain-designs-and-ideas-from-the-1950s/, since the two relevant windows are very tall and comparatively narrow. Help, help, help please…

      • Jean says

        Thanks for responding anyway! Any idea of where to look for this sort of info? I’m really at a loss…I don’t even know how to find professionals who would be familiar enough with barkcloth to provide a good answer.

    • Jonathan says

      Consider using a drapery lining called “black out”, it is heavy and will block out the sun and keep fabric from fading. This lining comes in white and off white, it’s NOT black like the name implies. This lining can be found at Joanne Fabrics or the like, between $6-$10/yard. I use this product exclusively for ALL the window treatments I make for clients. Good luck!!

  7. Dale says

    I recently lost all of my mid century stuff in a fire. I had some really great Barkcloth drapes. Black background with a kind of “fireworks” design on it. Reds, yellows, greens, etc. When I got it several years ago, it was also available in red. I purchased it and had the drapes made by a woman in CA. Don’t remember her name, shop name, or anything. All I remember is that she talked A LOT! I really want to find the same material, but see nothing available even close to it. Can anybody help?

  8. Martha says

    I made cafe curtains out of the Boomerang in an aqua background from Tonic Living. It was wonderful to work with, and the curtains are beautiful. The Tonic Living folks are out of Canada, and they were great to work with.

  9. dianne shelton says

    I want to buy the Boomerang Beat Fabric, I see it on websites, but can’t figure out how to order it. Please help me. Thanks

    • pam kueber says

      Dianne, I am not sure which fabric you are talking about. Click through the links in the story to get to the different retailers to see their current selections.

  10. Peggy says

    If you are in the UK, try The Village Haberdashery in West Hampstead, London. They have a great collection! Also, it can be ordered online at The Village Haberdashery.co.uk

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