vintage style barkclothLarge scale, leafy botanical prints are apparently “in” right now, but this style of barkcloth has always been hip with the vintage Hawaiiana and tiki-loving crowd. Case in point: Pam recently spotted this quadruple roll of historic vintage wallpaper on ebay. It was apparently the the famous “Martinique” wallpaper from the Beverly Hills Hotel, and the roll sold for $887. Yowza. To replicate the vibe with barkcloth made new today — and at a much more affordable price — check out these 11 designs in 31 colors available from Diamondhead Fabrics

vintage style barkclothvintage style barkcloth

About the company

To clear up any confusion about the naming structure of the company, Big Kahuna Fabrics is the North American wholesale distributor for Trendex Fabrics. Diamondhead Fabrics serves Big Kahuna’s direct-to-consumer market.

From the Diamondhead Fabrics website:

Aloha! Welcome to Diamondhead Fabrics, your premier source for the most beautiful Hawaiian tropical prints and accessories. If you’ve ever visited Oahu’s Diamondhead crater, you know the beauty that nature can inspire. Let us inspire you to bring natural Hawaiian beauty into your home and personal style. Live and celebrate tropical!

Diamondhead Fabrics offers the finest tropical prints that you can use to express your unique style of tropical luxury and easy living. Our Hawaiian tropical print fabrics are unmatched in quality, with vibrant colors and intricate traditional and transitional designs. Cover your best casual furniture, make gorgeous bedding, create beautiful window treatments, and accessorize with playful pillows. Don’t feel like sewing? We offer finished pillow covers in several of our most popular patterns, ready to be tossed on the sofa!

You can purchase any of these barkcloth fabric patterns directly through the Diamondhead Fabrics website by the yard. The company charges $19.95 for one yard and $15.95 per yard for two or more yards — an affordable price for what Pam and I both agreed was a seemingly quality barkcloth with a good weight, vividly printed patterns and a delightful nubby texture similar to vintage barkcloth. Samples are available for $2.95 and shipping is free for samples and orders over $50.

The barkcloth that almost killed my boss — and why we like it anyway

vintage style barkcloth

vintage style barkcloth vintage style barkclothAbove: After we both had a chance to review the barkcloth samples, we agreed that we like the graphic punch that the selection of leafy fabrics provide for accent pillows, pinch pleat draperies and room accents. The ‘Bird of Paradise’ pattern was our favorite because the addition of the flower — and the extra pop of color it gives the pattern — creating a depth and versatility that is unmatched by the other purely botanical prints.

trader vics
Pretty please with a cherry in your Mai Tai, Diamond Head Fabrics, can we have colorways in classic Trader Vic’s colors?

That being said, Pam and I did wish that some of the colors could be tweaked just slightly to better suit the typical colors in a retro tiki lounge — like swapping red for burnt orange/amber and teal for pea green — classic Trader Vic’s colors ala the postcard from the bygone Trader Vic’s in Boston, above.  Still, if you’re looking for botanical prints that would feel at home in a vintage Hawaiiana style room or tiki lounge, the selection available through Big Kahuna Fabrics is a great place to start looking.

vintage style barkcloth vintage style barkcloth vintage style barkclothAbove: These botanical prints are an excellent option for those who are not into flowery tiki or Hawaiian decor and want leafy only.

vintage style barkcloth vintage style barkclothI really like the way the patterns are rendered. Up close they have a lovely painted effect that is very reminiscent of vintage barkcloth patterns.

vintage style barkcloth vintage style barkcloth vintage style barkcloth vintage style barkcloth

To see all the color ways of each pattern, check out the slide show below. Mega thanks to Ann Brunett from Big Kahuna Fabrics for sending us samples and answering our questions.

Link Love:

Tips to view slide show: Click on first image… it will enlarge and you can also read my captions… move forward or back by clicking on the photo… you can start or stop at any image:

  1. Robin, NV says:

    I just love #32 – Lani Melon. I keep thinking how fabulous it would look as pinch pleats in a retro 40s living room.

  2. Paige says:

    I really like the Lani natural, I’ve got some peach/orange lamps that would really pick up that color & I think the print would make great pillows!

  3. SebastianFTL says:

    Well, these are all great & I will be sure to use this fabric on my next set of living room curtains. The leafy wallpaper from the Beverly Hills hotel, I think that’s the same one used in Blanche’s bedroom on the Golden Girls!

    Is that paper still in production???

  4. lisa in Seattle says:

    I don’t see prices on any of their listings; it says you have to sign in and I didn’t bother. However — try going to the Designer Wallcoverings site (I used Pam’s link above) and putting “tropical” into the search bar. Wow, some really cool stuff comes up. Love the palm tree print on grasscloth!

    1. pam kueber says:

      All the prices for the DiamondHead fabrics are right there on their web page, I am not sure what you are talking about…

      1. lisa in Seattle says:

        Sorry, Pam! I meant the prices on the wallpapers at I didn’t see any prices there, though it may be possible to see them if one creates a login. So many pretty wallpapers, though!

        You are correct that the fabric prices are perfectly clear.

        1. pam kueber says:

          ah! okay! thanks for that clarification, lisa. I am with ya – sites that require a login to get price, bleck. So… 1994!

  5. tammyCA says:

    You can see a bit of that classic banana leaf Beverly Hills hotel in “I love Lucy” (when they go to Hollywood) and in some old movies.
    Yeah, I wish the new barkcloth came in fun colors and not so serious colors. Once I found a bunch of barkcloth sample squares at Joann’s on sale and bought them..was gonna maybe sew them into throw pillows but instead I made tote bags since calif outlawed plastic bags.

  6. Linda Weeks says:

    I have always loved barkcloth! I mean, fifty several years ago, that was so unique and what a statement it makes! When one of the historical buildings at the local college was going to undergo a renovation, I tried to get their old draperies, barkcloth, vintage, and wonderful, not to mention about ten feet long each… but it didn’t work. It’s nice thinking that Joann’s might actually have some!

    1. pam kueber says:

      It’s fabric.

      There are ways to hang fabric like wallpaper… either “upholster” it onto the wall, or I have seen tutorials for using starch.

  7. Joe Felice says:

    I love the vibrant colors in these. My parents lived in Florida until they died, and my sister still does. I’ve noticed on my visits that these fabrics, patterns & colors are also very popular down there, especially on lanai and sun-room furniture.

  8. Becky Roorda says:

    I just bought two Bird of Paradise (Burgundy) pillow covers, $14.99 each. They are beautifully made. The material is simply gorgeous. The photo on the website doesn’t begin to do it justice. I see some drapes in my future for my 1956 rancher.

  9. Markie says:

    I covered the cushions for two teak chairs with the big leaf you have featured and love it. The weight is good, easy to sew and very comfy tactile feel. I’m pulling my interior paint colors from the fabric. Love them!

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