Not too long ago I shared some tips to give you ideas for adding a little farmhouse style to your home. I called it The Beginner’s Guide to Farmhouse Style Decor. I was afraid the post was going to be too long so I didn’t go into much detail about each particular tip. I thought I would take some of them and break them down a bit. I don’t know how many I will get to but of course I had to start with my 5 favorite farmhouse fabrics. I will list sources to as many things as I can at the end of the post. If you see yellow text (red on mobile) that’s a clickable link. Ok…let’s get going!
First let’s talk grain sacks. My love of grain sacks borders on obsession. They have a rich history and each one tells a story. They are not the easiest things to come by but the search is worth it. I mostly buy mine on eBay. Other sources are Etsy and antique malls or flea markets. I have never found any grain sacks at my antique mall and seem to have the best luck buying online. They are fun to repurpose into pillow covers or table runners but if you don’t sew, just add them to your decor as a layer.
Place one on your coffee table under a tray. Use them on the back of a chair or a vintage ladder. They can even be used to cover seat cushions and work great for upholstery. Honestly though, upholstery would get a little pricey unless you had just one or two chairs…but it certainly would pack a punch. I recently covered my dining room chairs with grain sack inspired fabric. It was much more affordable than if I had used real grain sacks.
Ticking is up next. It’s easily recognizable because all ticking has a specific stripe pattern. It was originally used to cover mattresses and pillows. You can still buy real mattress ticking in fabric stores…but my personal opinion is that it’s hard to work with. It’s stiff and doesn’t soften up much after washing. I opt for 100% cotton ticking that washes up beautifully and is a dream to work with. (Link at the end.) Soft furnishings made from ticking are cozy and add the perfect farmhouse touch. Red and blue ticking are probably the most popular but it now comes in many different colors.
Mangle cloth is probably the least known among vintage farmhouse fabrics. I have a tendency to sew things for my home and then end up selling them in my shop. A few years ago I made a window valance for my kitchen with matching chair covers and I used mangle cloth. I still have it all too…it hasn’t been sold!
Mangle cloths are very long and wide with blue or red stripes running down the sides. They were used to protect fine linens when they were put through a mangle machine to be ironed. Think an old fashioned wringer only hot. They are not easily found and most come from Europe. The sides with the stripes are finished with a selvage (or finished) edge so they can be made into a table runner or table cloth.
Of all the fabrics that lend themselves to the farmhouse look, I think linen is the most universal and it literally goes with anything. White linen, ivory linen, flax linen…they all make beautiful decor items. For a solid fabric it has incredible texture. Once it’s washed, it becomes softer and thicker. The more it’s washed, the better it gets.
I use it for window panels, pillow covers, cloth napkins, table runners, tea towels…and the list goes on. If you are ever in doubt about what fabric to use for something, go for linen. It’s pretty much no fail.
Last but most certainly not least is Burlap. I think burlap is one of the best ways to bring farmhouse flair into your decor. It’s just about the most budget friendly fabric out there…and is neutral in color. It can be purchased at all craft, discount and fabric stores so it’s super easy to find.
I hope you’ve been inspired to add farmhouse personality to your home with one (or more) of these fabrics. Here are some links to sources for each one of them. The grain sacks and mangle cloths are the most expensive but if you are patient even those can be found for a reasonable price. If you decide to make a purchase, make sure to consider the shipping cost. Sometimes it adds a good bit to the price of the item.
Before you go, here are some DIY tips and tricks from three of my favorite bloggers. No theme this month but as always, awesome inspiration.
Thank you for stopping by!