Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Canvas Floorcloth

I seem to be shifting from my regular crafts to new crafts, at least new to me. I discovered an outlet that retails canvas remnants, cheap, cheap. It took me a little to think about what to do with them and now the ideas are flowing, outdoor cushioned seat covers and seat covers for the boat! The possibilities are endless!
Anyway, I'd like to try a floor cloth, I think I have the capabilities to stencil, stamp or freehand something pretty. Floor cloths originated from France in the 1400, the women of the homes used the old sails from the ships to fashion mats for the dirt floors and later, to keep the cold air from coming through the cracks of the floorboards, some referred to them as crumb cloths for the idea of an under the table food catcher. Alot of the hand painting had this nautical compass or a plain repetitive pattern to emulate the look of the expensive Turkish rug.
Three presidents are said to have owned floor cloths while in office, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, he purchased two cloths for $3.00 a square yard and most likely painted green, finally John Adams had one documented in his private possessions.

Floor cloths started being produced at the city of Boston in 1754 but were the market of the wealthy. Many private homeowners stenciled their own and ran into a few chemical problems (which still exist today), linseed and lead was added to the paint to speed dry the cloth, to much lead and the cloth cracked.

I read min wax poly acrylic is the best way to go in order to waterproof and still have the canvas flexible, so I bought some.
Geez! $8.00 a 1/2 pint, stuff better work. C&G Design.

Words and photos by Dawn,

C&G Design.


Nancy said...

I love floor cloths. I think I have a book, or did, somewhere. I think I bought the canvas when my son was young. Can't wait to see what you do.

tina said...

I've been interested in these so I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with yours.

Lola said...

Another great idea, Dawn. Love it. Waiting to see how it turns out.
Go girl.

Roses and Lilacs said...

I've been looking at these in magazines for a long time. Lovely. One of my favorites was one painted with grapes and leaves. I'd like to have one but will probably never find the time to make one.

Jean said...

They are pretty and add a lot to a room. Good luck with what you do.