Friday, May 28, 2010

Handmade Vintage Barkcloth Pillows Feature 1950's Abstract Designs

Loving These 1950's Abstract Barkcloth Pillows

I'm so excited to show you a gallery of handmade barkcloth pillows or cushion covers made by These pillow (covers) are newly made from original 1950s barkcloth.

also sells bundles of her remnants. After making larger items, you can do so much with barkcloth odds and ends.

I created mixed media pictures of floral arrangements. Others have used salvaged fabric to make eye glass cases, purses, sachets, bookmarks, clothing trim etc.
And if you sew with barkckloth, think about selling your remnants. lots of retro gals and guys are interested in these textiles for a variety of projects.
Background On Barkcloth
Barkcloth gets its name from a primitive fabric which is made from the fibers of tree bark found in tropical and subtropical countries. The outer bark is stripped from the tree and then the inner bark is separated with the outer bark. Next the inner bark is beaten with wooden beaters or steel tools on an anvil to spread the fibers. Often water and soaking may be introduced to soften the fibers. Larger cloths are made by layering and felting smaller pieces together during the beating phase. Sometimes a starchy glue-like substance derived from tropical plants is used to attach small pieces together. Primitive barkcloth was used for clothing and wall hangings.

Barkcloth made is way to France in the 1920's and was made using cotton mixed with rayon. Our introduction to barkcloth was the imported material from France known as cretonne, a woven cloth with a nubby texture. By the late 1930's barkcloth was being manufactured in America. During the colorful era (1940's-1950's) barkcloth, a generic term to describe nubby fabric with a bark-like texture dominated American households. From upholstered furnishings to window treatments barkcloth was favored because of its durability and dense weave. I have heard people claim that barkcloth is so strong that it is cat proof. ....I have my doubts.

Pillow Gallery

Common 1950's Design Patterns

...geometrics...brick patterns... amoeba shapes...kidney bean shapes... atomic and molecular structures... thin spiky lines starbursts... galaxies...satellites... airy patterns...wire like shapes,flying lab designs...Alexander Calder looks...Picasso inspired designs...animal and plant forms...leaf patterns... floating boxes...spirals motion...asymmetrical patterns.

Nice Work !

C. Dianne Zweig
is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro cafĂ©.To read more articles by C. Dianne Zweig click on this link: C. Dianne Zweig’s Blog Kitsch ‘n Stuff Email me at dianne@cdiannezweig.comVisit my website, CDianneZweig.comDianne is a member of:The American Society of Journalists and AuthorsThe Authors Guild, Inc.


  1. Well they certainly are very 50's lol I think I would pass on them today today I am more into the old time vintage, and older days, hugs and have a great weekend, Barbara

  2. What beautiful prints. Very barkalicious pillows! I'll take all of them.

  3. Barkcloth - aah, memories! My mom had these cool black-with-colored-flecks curtains in our living room "forever" growing up. Wish they had been saved; but, then again, who wants black curtains in their living room? Not me!

    I just love your post on Flattery - too funny!

  4. You always have the coolest stuff to share on your blog. I Love these pillows!

  5. i like your prints , these are quite different. really appreciate it.