Large 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.
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
Above: 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.
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.
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.
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: