Some historical records indicate that Floorcloths originated in France in the 1400s and were introduced to the American colonies in the early 1700s. They were owned by at least three presidents, Jefferson, Adams and even George Washington. Originally made from recycled ships’ sails, they were used to cover dirt or wooden floors in early American homes. Patterns including diamonds, squares and cubes were hand painted or stenciled, frequently by the lady of the house.
These cloths became known as “crumb cloths” when used under tables, but their use was not limited to dining areas. Because of their bright colors and interesting patterns, floor cloths were used as art in parlors, bedrooms and hallways.
Floor cloths are a great addition to the modern kitchen. When used under tables, they are flat enough to allow kitchen chairs to slide over them. They are very durable, clean up easily and can be painted to complement any decor.
Liz and Dave Gage of Gallery 58 have been creating floorcloths for over 20 years and have actually perfected the “lay-flat” hemming method. Contact Gallery 58 to order your floorcloth today.