5 Best Farmhouse Fabric Ideas for Your Home


Looking for the perfect fabrics to complete your farmhouse decor? Check out these five best farmhouse fabric ideas that will add charm and warmth to any room.

Modern farmhouse design is all about creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere, and the right fabric choices will make all the difference. Whether you’re looking for drapery panels, pillows, bed skirts, or upholstery fabric, these five rustic fabrics are sure to add charm and warmth to any room in your home.

One of the easiest and most budget-friendly ways to add a specific style to your decor is with fabric. By simply switching out pillow covers, or adding a table runner, it’s possible to transform a room in just a few minutes. Today I’m sharing five of the best fabrics to add farmhouse style to your decor. If you’re like me, and don’t actually live in a farmhouse, adding fabric and accessories is a great way to add a touch of farmhouse charm to any space. 

blue striped grain sack table runner with dough bowl centerpiece

Grain Sacks

First let’s talk grain sacks. My love of grain sacks borders on obsession. They are a modern farmhouse trend with a rich history, and each one tells a story. They are not the easiest things to come by, but the search is worth the end result. I buy mine on eBay and Etsy. They can also turn up in antique malls or flea markets. I have never found any grain sacks at my antique mall, and have the best luck buying online. Grain sacks are fun to repurpose into pillow covers or table runners, but if you don’t sew, one of the best ways to add them to your decor is with layering. Their clean lines and neutral palette lend them beautifully to farmhouse-style interiors. 

pottery barn grain sack pillow cover on sutton place
Faux Grain Sack Pillow Cover
(reverses to ticking!)

More Design Ideas for Incorporating Grain Sacks

Place one on your coffee table or dining room table under a tray. Use them on the back of accent chairs or drape them on a vintage ladder. Line wicker baskets or wire baskets with grain sacks, or stack them on open shelving. They can even be used to cover seat cushions, and they work great for upholstery. Keep in mind that an upholstery project would get pricey unless you have just one or two chairs…but it certainly would pack a punch. When we lived on Sutton Place, I covered my dining room chairs with grain sack inspired fabric, and it was much more affordable than if I had used real grain sacks. 

Ticking

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 after washing.

blue ticking pillow on chair best farmhouse fabric ideas

I opt for 100% cotton ticking that washes up beautifully, and is a dream to work with. Soft furnishings made from ticking are cozy, and add the perfect farmhouse touch. The most popular colors are red and blue, but ticking is now available in many different colors. 

mangle cloth chair cover and valance best farmhouse fabric idea

Mangle Cloth

Chances are you have never heard of mangle cloth, but it’s a very versatile and beautiful farmhouse fabric. Many years ago, I made a window valance for my kitchen on Sutton Place, with matching chair covers. I used a magnificent, long run of blue striped mangle cloth that I found on eBay.

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, but extremely hot.) Mangle cloths are not easy to find, and most of them 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.  

Linen

Of all the fabrics that lend themselves to the farmhouse look, linen is the most universal, and it literally goes with anything. White linen, ivory linen, flax linen…all of these neutral tones make beautiful decor items. For a solid fabric, it has incredible texture. Once it’s washed, it becomes softer and thicker. The more linen is washed, the better it gets. 

Linen is perfect for curtains, throw pillows, table linens, and bedding. It’s a timeless, breathable fabric that has been used in farmhouse decor for centuries. Linen also has a natural, rustic look that fits in perfectly with farmhouse decor. If you are ever in doubt about what fabric to use, linen is a great choice. It’s a no-fail decision. 

Burlap

The last best farmhouse fabric idea, but most certainly not the least, is burlap. Burlap is an easy way to bring farmhouse flair into your decor, and no sewing machine is required. It’s affordable, can be found anywhere, and is neutral in color. It’s a versatile and durable fabric that adds texture and a natural feel. It can be purchased at all craft, discount, and fabric stores, which makes it super easy to find.

It’s very simple to make no sew items with burlap, and it’s a budget-friendly way to bring a sense of warmth to your space. When prepared correctly, a straight and frayed edge is easy to achieve. It’s also thick enough to survive an application of hot glue! For a more polished look, try pairing burlap with a soft cotton fabric, white linen, gingham fabric, or any scrap fabric you have on hand.

Bonus Tip

One more way to add modern farmhouse style to your decor is to sprinkle vintage quilts around your rooms. I collect blue quilts, and I love to use them to add layers and warmth. Although rarely in perfect condition, smaller quilts are more affordable, so I look for baby quilts or coverlets. A great place to find them is on sites like Etsy and eBay, or at flea markets and antique stores or malls.

vintage quilts on blanket ladder best farmhouse fabric ideas

More Farmhouse Fabric Ideas

  • buffalo check
  • country plaids
  • pastoral scenes
  • toile fabrics
  • fabric with botanical imagery

I hope you’ve been inspired to add farmhouse personality to your home with one (or more) of these fabrics. Find below 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. Many sellers offer free shipping, but if they don’t, it can raise the price of the item. Have a wonderful time using these creative ideas to add farmhouse-style fabrics to your existing decor!

*Affiliate links included. Click HERE for my disclosure statement. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Every effort has been made to provide sources to the products found in this post. If an item is out of stock, but may be restocked, I left it on the list. 

Where To Find Farmhouse Fabrics

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18 Comments

  1. Kelly Malone says:

    Hi Ann, love your blog! Your wish list makes it so easy to help folks like me decorate. Can you help me with hanging string lights? Whether on a patio or fan shaped in a backyard. I cant seem to decide. We have a new home & I’m trying to decorate an outdoor space. Also helping my father in law decorate his screened porch space.
    Perplexed in Tennessee,
    Kelly Malone

    1. Hi Kelly…my apologies for taking so long to respond. I love string lights, but I’ve never actually hung them. If I were to do it, I would do it as simply as possible! I would make a rectangle to mimic our patio. A fan shape sounds very fun though. Good luck!

  2. Hi Ann,
    I loved this informative article and will likely be making some purchases on etsy ASAP!
    I do have a question on the uppermost afghan on your ladder! I so love the pattern of that piece. Is it also a vintage find?

  3. Hi Ann! I do live in a small old farm house and recently inherited two red, blue and white Persian rugs. They are beautiful and I want to make sure they blend in and add timeless beauty to my old house. I love all of your ideas and will be looking for appropriate fabrics to make my old house more beautiful. Thank you for sharing your ideas! Your home always looks so classy and comfortable.

  4. What a lovely post Ann. On my enclosed porch I am using off white denim slipcover on the sofa and black and white ticking toss pillows. Also added a couple of black/white square pattern you used at Christmas-can’t think of the name.
    xoxoxo
    xoxoxo

  5. Josephine Marie Howland says:

    It’s interesting that you mention Mangle cloth. I actually still have a working mangle. It was my mother’s. She and I both sewed so she had it to send her items through. It is wonderful to send your cloth napkins through and is a real time saver. I will often put through lengths of fabric to get them smooth before sewing.

  6. Ruth Loyce Gillies says:

    Thank you for all your wonderful ideas and the links to sources… I have already gone shopping (buying) for lovely pillow covers :)

  7. I find the smell of burlap very off-putting. Does washing it before using it eliminate that problem? I hate the petroleum aroma that seems embedded in burlap.

    1. Hi Laurie…washing the burlap does remove a great deal of the odor. It doesn’t remove all of it though. I have found that the smell completely fades over time. I store some burlap runners in a drawer and when I open it, there is no smell.

  8. MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA!) says:

    Thanks, Ann, for the great post! I love grain sack! We have covered our dining room chairs in grain sack with the blue stripe. I had never heard about the mangle but I like it, too!

  9. Although I don’t live in a farmhouse,I do love adding farmhouse decor to my home. I love all the fabrics you talked about in your post, very informative.

  10. I love all of your sewing tips. Your knowledge of older fabrics got me wondering if you or perhaps one of your readers can help to identify some linens my husband acquired from his great aunt. There are six large cloths (30” x 15”) made of damask with cloth tabs sewn on the back of each short end. They are embroidered with his aunt’s monogram. She was born in the early 1900s. Any clue as to what these were used for? They are too large for a placemat and too small for a table runner. The tabs on the back have us puzzled. Thank you.

    1. Hi Harriet…my apologies for the delay in answering. From your description, I think the linens are kitchen towels. The cloth tabs on the back are for hanging the towel on a hook. The linen most likely came on a roll that was 15 inches wide. It was cut into lengths to make the towels. What a treasure…you are very lucky!

  11. Ann – I love this post! My home is not farmhouse, but I find myself drawn to some of the elements of farmhouse – chicken wire and pillow ticking in particular. I think what is so appealing about these various fabrics is that they bring a sense of warmth and relaxed comfort that is both inviting and appealing. And your home showcases that perfectly! BTW….I took your advice from your latest sewing post about creating patterns for items you sew frequently. Total game changer. I create a few patterns for pillow forms, and was delighted at how much time, effort and frustration it saved me. Thank you so much for that!!

  12. Rae Elizabeth Batig says:

    Oh, my! Now I want to “collect” grain sacks. Thank you for a beautiful post.

  13. Donna Marie says:

    The only thing I don’t like about 100% cotton is the wrinkles!!! Lol

  14. Diania Abernathy says:

    Oh My goodness Ann!….Thanks for introducing us to the wonderful world of Mangle Cloth!!!