8 places to buy barkcloth

adirondack barkcloth from full swing textilesVintage 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 today spotlight eight places to buy vintage style reproduction barkcloth.

1950s style barkclothThe first two images above are from Full Swing Textiles. 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. Link: Full Swing Textiles.

aquamarine atomic barkclothRecognize the barkcloth above? It’s the atomic style barkcloth that I used for the valance in my kitchen. It’s from Melinamade, which also has a nice selection of designs. Note, the piece of fabric that I received and use was quite stiff — I don’t think that I would have used it for pinch pleats. When choosing a fabric for curtains, you want to be very attentive to its “hand” … how it drapes. Link: Melinamade barkcloth fabrics.

hawaii barkclothWhen I think of vintage barkcloth, I first think of tropical designs — for the kind of curtains that go with rattan furniture or in tiki bars. I tend to think these were the “originals” more so than other designs. There is a site called Barkcloth Hawaii that seems to have a good selection. Note, we are now getting into the more mass produced manufacturers, I *think*. 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: Barkcloth Hawaii.

boomerang barkclothTonic Living has one design I didn’t see anywhere else, along with others I see repeated on other sites. Cindy bought her drapery fabric (which was not barkcloth) here and reported a positive experience. Link: Tonic Living fabrics.

mambo barkclothJ&O is a big online retailer, and they have a number of designs to look at, too — many of them also seem to be for sale at Tonic Living and Barkcloth Hawaii. Link: J&O Fabrics.

retro-barkcloth-midcenturyDiamondhead Fabrics has an impressive and affordable collection of 27 patterns and 68 color ways of barkcloth fabrics in retro, botanical and tropical prints.

vintage style barkclothWe’ve seen samples of all of their fabric selections and agree that the quality of this fabric is very good — especially for the affordable price of $19.95 for the first yard and $15.95 for two or more yards.

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. The RDGs do much of this work via ebay:

And peck around etsy.com, too. For example, I found this 5-1/2 yard bolt of barkcloth in a flash, $65 from vintagetouch:

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  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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?

  4. 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.

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