“Hawaii is not a state of mind, but a state of grace. ”
– Paul Theroux

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Vintage Thursday: Barkcloth drapes

This is my master bedroom with the new iron bed that I have wanted all my life. The old bed was from a set that we bought in 1971 and was heavy wood and very dark. I got this iron bed at Humble Abode, on line. It's the Sena bed by Wesley Allen. I can't recommend this company enough. The order was fast, they tracked the shipment, and kept us informed until it was at our door ,which is a feat in itself considering we live in the middle of nowhere. I'm soooo happy with our beautiful new bed.

Ok enough about the bed. The "Vintage" thingies, for today, are the Barkcloth drapes.

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Barkcloth is a versatile material that was once common in Asia, Africa, Indonesia and the Pacific. Barkcloth comes primarily from trees of the Moraceae family, including Broussonetia papyrifera, Artocarpus altilis, and Ficus. It is made by beating sodden strips of the fibrous inner bark of these trees into sheets, which are then finished into a variety of items. Many texts that mention "paper" clothing are actually referring to barkcloth.
Another item that has been misnamed "barkcloth" is a soft, thick, slightly textured fabric so named because it has a rough surface like that of tree bark. This barkcloth is usually made of densely woven cotton fibers. Historically, the fabric has been used in home furnishings, such as curtains, drapery, upholstery, and slipcovers. It is often associated with 1950s and 1960s home fashions.

I would guess that these panels are the "misnamed" barkcloth that has been used for all kinds of home furnishings since the 30's or 40's. I have washed these panels twice, lining and all, in my washing machine, so I know they're not made of paper or bark. They are a wonderful texture that is rough but soft. The pattern and color is more muted that most "barkcloth", which is usually bright and wild with a Hawaiian flare. I have added lace curtains in between to add a valance of sorts to the panels.

I found these panels in Murphys, California. They were hanging outside on a deck in the back of an antique shop.I was in the car with my husband, looking for a parking place and I spotted them as we drove by. "Stop" I shouted. I got out and left my husband to park the car himself and ran into the little store. Sometimes you just have to be ruthless when shopping for vintage thingies. I only paid $30.00 dollars for both panels. When I look at what some of the barkcloth panels and fabric costs on Ebay, I realize that I got a really great "deal". These beautiful panel drapes are fully lined , not faded and in excellent shape. I just love them!

Please stop by Colorado Lady to see other wonderful vintage things and share some of your own.

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  1. These are beautiful! I will have to share mine next week! Hey! I don't see anything from Room With A Past in this room! You NEED to come shop!

  2. I love your bed. It is just beautiful. Great find on the panels...your room looks wonderful.

  3. Thanks for sharing! Those are neat.

  4. I agree 'what a bargain' they're FAB..i love your bed...i love everything about your bedroom :)

  5. Great story about buying the curtains and the meaning of barkcloth. I've always wondered about that.

  6. Woman after my own heart! Can't tell you how many times I've screamed at my husband in the car to STOP! and then found a bargain.

  7. Those drapes look so familiar. I'm thinking my mom had some in one of our houses. Will have to look at some pictures. Great price too. Love you bed.

  8. I think you did a wonderful job on
    decorating your bedroom and the
    curtains look wonderful!

  9. Oooooo, I love that bed..it's gorgeous and your drapes are just so pretty. A beautiful bedroom.
    Happy VTT and have a lovely day.

  10. lovely, I have an iron bed too that I will never get tired of, and the fabric is lovely. I made my dining room valences out of vintage table cloths. I've got tons of "vintage" stuff we used to call it old or antiques. HA. But really anything in particular you want to see?

  11. I love the bed and those drapes are fabulous for $30! What a deal. : D

  12. So fresh & clean looking & all at a great price. Can't beat that!

  13. I clicked on the picture to get a better view of the room. It is very pretty.

  14. Congrats on the bed - you must be so content now! I'm so glad you had 20/20 for the drapes - they're perfect in your bedroom!

  15. Your bed is just beautiful, I love Iron beds, I've never heard of Barkcloth before, very interesting, they look very pretty with you bed room setting, I know you enjoy staying in your room.

  16. The pattern on your drapes look a lot like the fabric that was on our cabinet doors when we bought the house. I love the bed.


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