retro fabricFinding and shopping at bona fide upholstery shops can be difficult, even intimidating. And, unless you find a place that sells at warehouse prices, it’s likely to be expensive. On the other hand, JoAnn’s Fabrics are pretty much everywhere. So, I popped over to their website to see if I could find any upholstery fabrics that would be good for vintage and retro style interiors. Indeed, I found quite a few.

upholstery for couch in a knotty pine roomNote, these are still not what I’d call “cheap” — $25 – $30 on sale half-price, as I write this story. Is there a Waverly Outlet anywhere near you? That’s where I bought a lot of my upholster and drapery fabric in the early 2000s, before they closed down their outlet in Adams, Mass.

My favorite design in this hunt: The Waverly Upstream Plaid in Coral (also comes in Moss) — this fabric reminds me of vintage camp blankets and I bet it would look great covering a sofa or a chair in a den panelled with knotty pine.

 retro upholstery fabric waverly

Above: I love the 1970s woven look of the Akira fabric line, at the right.  It looks like there are at least 11 colors for this design — from Indigo to Palm to Chestnut, and more.

1970s style upholstery fabric

Above: Some more 1970s style potential. I would like to see this in person to assess the weave — of course, you need to see all of these fabrics I’m showing in person — but I like the online look of Melody, four color ways.

green upholstery fabricAbove: And here’s another design basic with lots of potential — Pera, 10 colorways. I am seeing a lot of moss, newly added on the Waverly site. Of course, A Moss by any other name would still look like Ripe Avocado.

retro upholstery

Four color of Glitz still available online. Has potential. Need to see.

mod fabricSo when did Tommy Bahama get all 1960s mad about mod? Just recently, it seems — the design above is brand new. Drift Away in four colors.

poodle fabric

Poodles in Paric fabric in three color ways. 54″ wide. Buy two yards — trim out the sides in black polka dots, add a button hole strip of black at the top — and you have your poodle shower curtain.

fabric with scenes of paris

Tres Chic Paris novelty print, in three color ways.

impressionismThese Tuileries prints — three colors — strike me as very 1960s. Or, do you think ’80s?

patchwork quilt fabricYes, I’ve gone insane for anything crazy patchwork quilt, watch out, Holly Hobby. Two color ways, Waverly Cozy Quilt fabric.

country kitchen fabricFor those of you who want retro country, I always like my tight plaids — with roosters, too, go for it! Farmhouse Friends has 2 colorways remaining.

toile chinoiserieToile du jouy meets Chinoiserie, two colorways.

tile fabricI’m pegging this at late 1980s early 1990s style, kind of hand in hand with Provence style. Piastrelle has three color ways — including the yellow and gray that’s super popular for a heartbeat 2012.

ribbon fabricRue de Ribbon in three colorways is really basically “sweet”, but it also has a kind of mod David Hicks look especially when it includes the black.

fabric with silhouettesJust about any “novelty” print would make for great curtains in a bedroom or kitchen, or trimmed out to 72″ wide for a shower curtain. About Face, two color ways.

  1. Laura H. says:

    I think i am in love with About Face. I need new drapes in my pink and grey living room and this just might fit the bill!

  2. kyle says:

    There is avocado and then there is too much of it. Moderation. Burlap is wonderful. I look at all these blasts from the past and just think keep it clean and simple with texture.

  3. Elaine says:

    These are wonderful! The Tuileries line takes me back. It is so similar to the sheets I used to make curtains for our first house in the early 70s. All I had to do for perfect pinch pleats was sew a pleater strip along the top edge and fit iin four prong hooks. No hemming needed. I used the wide hem at the top.

    I’m going prospecting to see if they still make the pleater tape and four prong hooks.

  4. Elaine says:

    I made full length drapes for my big front windows out of good cotton sheets in the 70s. They worked very well. If you want a heavier feel, you could line them.

  5. Patty says:

    Michael Miller’s fabric is much better quality than the similar fabrics at JoAnn’s. You can also look for Michael Miller discontinued patterns on etsy and eBay. I LOVE my Michael Miller kitchen valances.

  6. Laura H. says:

    Thanks so much for sharing that info! I had no idea such a thing existed, never having made pinch pleat drapes before.

  7. pam kueber says:

    Thanks for the additional info, Amelia — I knew that print looked super duper familiar. I bet it was used in thousands of houses!

  8. Heather says:

    That Tuileries print looks exactly like a yard of cloth I bought as a remnant back in the late 60s to cover the bottom half of my bathroom window. It was a remnant and not cheap. I’d buy it again, it’s so fresh and colorful.

  9. Laura Biggs says:

    Trying to locate the name for the Garden Print 1970’s Waverly fabric. My mother had draperies and a wing chair with this beautiful pattern. I recently saw it on an episode of MAD MEN Season Five Episode 4 at Peter Campbell’s new house in the suburbs of New York State. I would love to get enough fabric to redo a chair and ottoman. Thank you for any assistance you can lend.

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