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You will find that many Barkcloth Era fabrics (30's-40's) were a departure from the traditional Hawaiin Tropical Themes of the early 30's when barkcloth was reintroduced to the American textile marketplace. It was quickly copied by the French with roses and floral designs and their own slant on tropical themes. Things do come full circle (as the Hawaiin Fabrics were printed on cotton similar to the Cretonne fabrics of the turn of the Century that were coming out of France. So...it is difficult with some of these older, vintage cotton fabrics to know exactly which were American and which were French as they largely are found today unsigned as they were turned into curtains, drapery, and other decorative textiles. I normally find curtain panels from the era, rarely original salesman samples though. We know about Waverly fabrics, as they are a bit newer and have VAT dyed with their name stamped on the selvage. But what about the other fabrics that I mentioned, without any names..how can you tell their age or where they are from? For me, the easiest was is to look at the selvage, is there a name and if so, can it be found on the internet? Then I look at the design, then pattern and texture (is it a waffle weave, a slub cotton, a synthetic), and of course the condition (is there any foxing?). Largely from my experience with working with these fabrics, I can determine with some accuracy, their respective ages (also, if they are purchased directly in France at a flea market like most of my fabrics on my website, http:www.ruins-ca.com/ ..then it is a no brainer). I also look at the stitching if they are hemmed textiles. I am particularly fond of the brown fabrics for some reason as this color is relatively rare. I am attaching some of these barkcloth era cotton and synthetic brown fabrics for your review. Is anyone up to the task to determine or guess where each is from? That would be a fun challenge. Anyway, enjoy looking at them..it is my pleasure to own and offer them for sale. Have a Happy Valentines Day! ~ Lisa (Hint of the day, foxing, the brown dots that look like rust that you find on some older barkcloths and fabrics is a mold that deteriates the fabric. It you soak out the foxing, many times you will find the fabric beneath is compromised so please consider that when considering to purchase your vintage barkcloth).

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Replies to This Discussion

Sure...cretonne invented by Paul Creton (supposively) or named after Creton, France, was originally a cotton with linen and hemp. Today it is loosly used to describe a fabric that is a slightly heavier weight than chintz cotton..it is unglazed...sometimes with cotton waste woven in that makes it a bit nubby or textured. Normally cretonne is printed with bold, colorful designs, sometimes on either side (tells you that it is really old if it is printed on both sides)..hope this helps...L
Now that makes sense to me. Thank you!
GREAT!!! Any time..regards, lisa
There's a particularly good article on cretonne, chintz, etc. on fabrics.net.
Will have to check that out..thanks Sharon! L

Thanks Sharon..that was a great article..here are 2 examples of wonderful chintz fabrics..enjoy! (you can find them as well as more chintz on my website, www.ruins-ca.com. regards, Lisa

Another chintz..a bit wrinkled but I just found it stashed in the back with another grouping of vintage materials...this has a nice finish, it is 100% cotton and still has the sizing on...have a great weekend! Lisa


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