Most of you are familiar with "barkcloth", the home decor fabric so popular from the 1930's through the 1960's. But is barkcloth really made from bark? The answer is no, not the type of barkcloth we are talking about here. There have been fabrics made from tree bark with a nubby texture, but our barkcloth is made from cotton. The famous Waverly design company named their version "rhino cloth" because of the distinctive textured surface.
Barkcloth has been used for pillows, upholstery, and curtains. Imaginative patterns ranging from tropical florals to highly abstract atomic and geometric prints were produced in wild color combinations that were popular at the time.
Here is a beautiful example of barkcloth circa 1930's featuring leaping gazelles on a dramatic black background:
Image Credit: eBay seller Out And Up
This is actually a rare and sought-after pattern. A 55" piece of this barkcloth sold on eBay for $140!
The next example is from my own fabric stash. I love the colors in this print, too:
A Roseville Bittersweet vase looks nice against the barkcloth, doesn't it?
Some of the most sought after barkcloth patterns involve atomic references and amoeba-like forms:
Photo Credit: WhitelyCreek.com
And one more example, a geometric pattern in grays and chartreuse with a tree motif worked in:
Photo Credit: Wikipedia
Are you a fan of barkcloth? Even if you aren't I hope you'll keep your eyes open for that leaping gazelle pattern. It shouldn't be passed by if it's tagged at a reasonable price!