Best farmhouse fabric ideas, inspiration, and examples for adding this popular decor style to your home. Budget friendly options included!
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 can bring a touch of farmhouse charm to any space.
There is a list of sources at the end of the post.
Farmhouse Fabric Ideas: Grain Sacks
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 the end result. I 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 have the best luck buying online. Grain sacks 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 or dining room 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 have just one or two chairs…but it certainly would pack a punch. 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.
Farmhouse Fabric Ideas: 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 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.
Farmhouse Fabric: Mangle Cloth
Mangle cloth is probably the least known among vintage farmhouse fabrics. A few years ago, I made a window valance for my kitchen with matching chair covers, and I used a magnificent, long run of 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 only 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.
Best Farmhouse Fabric: 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…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, choose linen. It’s a no-fail decision.
Best Farmhouse Fabric Ideas: Burlap
The last best farmhouse fabric idea, but most certainly not the least, is burlap. Burlap is one of the best ways to bring farmhouse flair into your decor. It’s affordable, can be found anywhere, and is neutral in color. It can be purchased at all craft, discount, and fabric stores, which makes it super easy to find.
It’s also very simple to make no sew items with burlap. If it’s prepared correctly, a straight and frayed edge is easy to achieve. It’s also thick enough to survive being hot glued!
Farmhouse Fabric Ideas Bonus Tip:
One more way to add a little farmhouse charm to your decor is to sprinkle a vintage quilt or two around your rooms. I’ve been collecting blue quilts for a few years, and I love to use them to add layers and warmth. Smaller quilts are more affordable, so I look for baby quilts or coverlets. They can be purchased on sites like Etsy and eBay, or at flea markets and antique malls.
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. It can add a good bit to the price of the item.
*Affiliate links included. Click HERE for my disclosure statement.