What Are Floor Cloths? Their Rich History, Design & Color

What Are Floor Cloths? Their Rich History, Design & Color

Birds of a Feather image

Kathy Cooper (Birds of a Feather)

Few surfaces present more of a design opportunity than wood floors. They make a perfect backdrop to add color, texture and design to a background rich in its own color and character. Many have taken advantage of this opportunity and produced stunning interiors.

So What Are Floor Cloths?

I think everyone is accustomed to seeing area rugs but there is another item that has been off our radar for some time that is making a comeback – floorcloths. For those not familiar with floorcloths, let me be the first to tell you they have a rich history and for centuries they were used to decorate the floors from royalty to the common man. Part of what fueled their popularity was the availability of the products used to make them – canvas and paint or coatings.

They were able to withstand the punishment of the footwear of the day and proved to be economical to produce. In the US, floorcloths were popular enough to grace the entrance hall of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. It was painted green in an effort to bring the exterior into the interior and replicate the look of grass.

Mariner's Compass Floorcloth image

Mariner’s Compass Floorcloth

I have always been attracted to floorcloths and I am extremely pleased by what I see when I look online for sources. When you combine the skills level of the artisans and the quality of the products available today to make them, you not only see why they are excellent décor, you also see why they are an excellent investment. They are much more durable, easily cleaned and maintained than in the past and the array of designs is limitless.

I have spent a little time looking for artists who offer some well designed and well made floorcloths and would like you to have their contact information. The most impressive are listed below and all but one have websites. I encourage you to visit their sites, check out their galleries and see what they offer. For those of you with talent and the motivation, you will find a couple that will help you design and create your own floorcloth.

When it comes to home décor, I think it goes without saying that wood floors offer homeowners the most complete and versatile palette of all flooring materials. Whether it is Oriental rugs, woven rugs or an attractive floorcloth; they enhance the look and value of your floors and your home. Used and maintained properly, floorcloths also provide additional protection for your prized wood floors. Give them a look. It is time well spent.

Lisa Curry Mair
326 Henry Gould Rd.
Perkinsville, VT 05151

Susan Mugford
Historic Design
3120 Towne Hill Rd.
East Montpelier, VT 05651

Kathy Cooper
115 Cascade Ave.
Winston Salem, NC 27127

Gracewood Design
6107 NE 32nd Pl.
Portland, OR 97211