Vintage 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 five places to buy vintage style reproduction barkcloth.
The 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.
Recognize 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.
When 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.
Tonic 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.
J&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.
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: