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Monday, September 13, 2010

Fabulous 50s fabrics

I love MCM textiles, vintage or reproduction.  I love its texture, its vibrant colors, its pizzazz and personality.  It has presence.  I mean, seriously, what does microfiber really say to you?

Give me a piece of barkcloth or a yard of nubby tweed any day.  A bolt of boucle’ in the right color could make me weak in the knees.  So is it any wonder that I pore over web sites and order swatches by the stack?    

If you’re looking for barkcloth in the $20-25/yard range, J and O Fabrics has a great theory anyway.  By that I mean they have tons listed, but they’re always out of stock in most patterns.  For tiki lovers, Barkcloth Hawaii has a huge assortment of tropical florals and a fair selection of atomic prints as well.

When it comes to the motherlode of mid-century fabrics in the $112-135 range, however…and I mean quality upholstery in patterns by designers like Arne Jacobsen, Alexander Girard, Charles and Ray Eames, George Nelson, Josef Hoffmann and Verner Panton…J and O has a large selection in stock.

Nevertheless, when I’m feeling lucky, I invariably check out the amazing selection at  You never know what they’re going to have, but you always know the fabric is going to be gorgeous and the prices are going to be exciting.  For instance, the same Eames “Small Dot” fabric that you just saw elsewhere for over $100 a yard may only be $26.99 a yard, although it might only be available in the yellow colorway.  They get new fabric in regularly though, so the selection changes often, and you get the added bonus of "the thrill of the bargain-hunt."  Not only that, but they are really nice to do business with!  I highly recommend making a habit of checking their site before you look elsewhere.

"China Shop" by George Nelson

by Josef Hoffman

 "Small Dot"
by Charles and Ray Eames

"Trapez" by Arne Jacobsen
at J and O Fabrics

l to r: "Circles" by Charles and Ray Eames;
"Geometri" by Verner Panton;
 "Design 9297" by Josef Hoffmann
all from J and O Fabrics 

"Mambo" barkcloth pillows I made for my study/guest room

Boomerang print barkcloth pillow


  1. I happened upon a sample of "Halmstad" by Robert Allen Fabrics. Although it's a recent design and not a reproduction, it really emanates a "Mid-Century" aesthetic. If I had my post-and-beam dream home with large window walls, I could easily imagine this pattern in pinch pleat drapes.

  2. @ModRocket: I very often find Robert Allen fabric that I like, but I hadn't seen "Halmstad." I looked it up online, and I like it very much. I can think of several projects I'd like to use it for. Thanks for the tip!