These days, finding barkcloth to use for window treatments, pillows and other fabric accents can be a difficult and expensive endeavor. The price of vintage barkcloth continues to rise, and it’s very difficult to find enough vintage yardage for larger projects. That’s why we were pleased to discover another source for mid-century style barkcloth — Diamondhead Fabrics. This barkcloth is made by Big Kahuna Fabrics in Hawaii, but it’s Diamondhead Fabrics where you can actually buy it online.
The barkcloth that almost killed my boss — and why we like it anyway
Before we delve into our more in-depth review, I’d like to note that it was the swatch of barkcloth above — Big Kahuna Fabrics ‘Bird of Paradise’ in natural — that nearly killed my boss. Pam was precariously draping this swatch over her traverse rod when the big tumble happened. Despite the broken arm that immediately resulted, Pam still holds a favorable opinion of the company’s collection of barkcloth prints — especially this now infamous swatch, which she might use for new pinch pleat draperies in her next big project — converting her 45′ x 15′ living room/dining room into a home tiki bar — her own Tropical Paradise.
Previously, we’d identified 7 places to buy barkcloth, and we’re thrilled to add Diamondhead Fabrics to our list as a key new source. Thanks to Ann Brunett, company spokesperson for Diamondhead Fabrics, Pam and I both were able to review samples of all the company’s barkcloth designs. Note: This is not a paid post, though — we just asked for sample swatches to see firsthand to prepare this story.
Our overall impression of the Diamondhead Fabrics/Big Kahuna Fabrics: Nice designs — nice texture — nice enough medium weight for accessories (but not heavy use upholstery) — all at a pretty darn good price. The fabric itself has a really great feel to it — a bit of a texture, similar to traditional barkcloth. Pam and I both felt the quality of the printing on the fabric was impressive, especially for the affordable price of $19.95 for the first yard and $15.95 per yard for two or more yards. Our only nit: We wish many of the colorways were more retro.
In all, Diamondhead Fabrics lists 27 barkcloth designs in 68 colorways on their website. We’ll have follow up stories taking a closer look at all three categories of the company’s barkcloth designs — atomic/googie, floral and botanical — coming up over the next few weeks, so stay tuned!
Mega thanks to Ann from Diamondhead Fabrics for sending samples for us to take a look at.