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Floor Coverings:  Olyclothes for Today's Homes

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Olyclothes for Today's Homes

Key Features:
  • Each floorcloth is hand-made and unique.
  • Crafted from heavyweight 100% duck canvas.
  • Custom patterns and designs can be incorporated.
  • Finished with multiple coats of water-based varnish for durability and easy care.
  • Starting at $25 per square foot for checkerboard design.
  • Pricing as of 2012.
Ask For:
  • Custom Floorcloths
Learn more about Dunberry Hill Designs:
by Dana Holmes, contributing editor
Pieces of ornately painted canvas, known as “Oylclothes” or floorcloths, were a popular floor covering in 18th century English homes. The patterned canvas rugs came to America with the colonists and remained popular until the advent of linoleum tile. Today, Dunberry Designs revives the historic floor covering by offering hand-made floorcloths in a variety of styles from Early American to Arts and Crafts/Mission.

Cloths start with a shrunk, hemmed piece of cotton duck canvas. Each cloth is hand-painted and sealed with several coats of water-based varnish. The finished product has a similar effect to that of an area rug, but the colors really pop and the designs can be far more intricate and precise.

The design studio assures prospective buyers that the cloths are not just works of art, but also functional pieces that are crafted to withstand foot traffic, spills, and heavy wear. The cloths are relatively simple to maintain, requiring nothing more than occasional vacuuming and damp mopping.

Pricing is similar to custom area rugs. Basic checkerboard designs are $25 a square foot, with price increasing as complexity increases. A wide range of motifs from different periods are available. Custom patterns and designs can be incorporated, too.

A sample swatch is included with any order so buyers can make sure colors and patterns match existing furnishings before they pull the trigger on the final product. Floorcloths can be made in almost any size and shape – good news for old homes with odd spaces to fill.

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