Double-Width Cotton Duck

I need to put up curtains in our living room in the worst way. That wall just feels so unfinished. I’m planning on doing a silk roman shade (color TBD – probably a couple of shades deeper than the wall color?), layered under a pair of curtain panels that are wide enough to be fully…

I need to put up curtains in our living room in the worst way. That wall just feels so unfinished. I’m planning on doing a silk roman shade (color TBD – probably a couple of shades deeper than the wall color?), layered under a pair of curtain panels that are wide enough to be fully functioning.

 photo 2DSC_0349.jpg

I don’t mind sewing my own curtains at all (here, here, here, here, here), but I’m not the hugest fan of piecing together the widths of fabric. Not because my machine can’t handle it (because the beast can handle almost any job I put in front of it!), it’s just all that fabric gets awkward and cumbersome, especially when dealing with panels long enough for twelve foot ceilings. And while I like using painter’s drop cloths for some jobs, but I’ve been noticing with my last purchase or two that the canvas used in the drop cloths is not usually one continuous width. And usually the widths are pieced together sloppily, and so are the hems often.

So, when I stumbled across these HUGE bolts of canvas, linen and cotton duck at Blicks, I was in heaven.

 photo IMG_2297.jpg
84 continuous inches of thick, uniform, heavy weight cotton duck means no piecing together widths of fabric here. And I love the natural ivory color. Not too oatmealy like the drop cloths can sometimes be.
 photo IMG_2295.jpg
The price for the the cotton duck was only about $10.50 a yard (and that’s in NYC, so it’s probably cheaper in other areas).
 photo IMG_2292.jpg
I would only need about 8 yards total of this extra wide fabric to do my double-width panels. Less than $100 for all that fabric is a really great price. I’ve been dreaming of all the different things I could do with the cotton duck (since it’s literally a blank canvas). I could dye it, but I was thinking of leaving the background the ivory color and then using bleach to make a more subtle pattern. Either like a splatter pattern, like Angela from the Painted House did with the fabric from this great chair:
 photo viathePaintedHouseBlog.jpg
 photo viaThePaintedHouseBlog2.jpg
Or maybe something with a little more pattern and structure like what Angela painted on this chair’s fabric:
 photo 008fee494684c1ccd0a5e80b9df39784.jpg
 photo fb80b1b524145712a613f7b5ad331788.jpg
Christine from Bijou and Boheme had these silk panels painted with a black abstract pattern (love this!)
 photo IMG_2291.jpg
And of course there are so many great abstract patterned fabrics and wallpapers in the market right now to be inspired by (like this one from Amanda Nesbit):
 photo SB-Long-4.jpg
 photo lj_kw_flat_channels_2_0081.png
And this one from Pierre Frey:
 photo V8jsjHBmvCRl.jpg
What would you do with the ivory cotton duck fabric? 
Join the Conversation

30 thoughts on “Double-Width Cotton Duck

  1. I really like the paint splatter effect, but for some reason I feel like a Weastler imitation (with bleach instead of black) would look really great in your space. Something about the kind of geometric pattern against the rug and the spotted print on the bench. No matter which you choose, I'm sure it'll look great.

  2. I would leave it alone and use it as is.Get your pattern from other things in the room. You'll enjoy them longer if they are non descript. As a fellow designer I speak. :)

  3. I think something geometric, larger-scale and more structured, would look best here. I think the bleached tones on the natural would be a subtle but fresh compliment to the room. You always do something really surprising so it'll be fun to see what you decide!

  4. How on earth do you paint OR dye that much fabric? Lay it all across your living room floor(paint)? In the washing maching (dye)?

  5. I would probably go with something more structured/organized, but I love the splatter look on that blue chair. I think that would be spectacular.

  6. I would never have thought to look at the art supply store for fabric, but it makes sense. I really like the bleach splatter pattern. It looks very subtly cosmic or celestial.

  7. what about paint? you could do a faux tape trim effect along the leading and bottom edge. if it's is that simple you could do a crazy town color… or keep it neutral. painted stripes would look rad too but it is probably too busy for this room. nice idea for a bedroom though… hmmmm.

  8. Hi Jenny, I would block print the canvas with a large paisley block that are for sale on Etsy and then add a grosgrain ribbon trim!

  9. I was inspired by the use of Olive Leaf Stencils used by blogger Carmel of Our Fifth House on drop cloths. The company has a nice range of patterns to suite many interiors, and I'm hoping to adapt the project to our living room using either the same ikat pattern she uses, or the arrow pattern.
    Your home is lovely…whatever you decide will be gorgeous!

  10. Thank you, Jenny, for posting my DIY fabric experiments! It's a little thrilling to be irreverent with upholstery that way. :) I've also dribbled paint on chairs and pillows and painted canvas for tablecloths. I'm a sofistikated decorating lost cause, ha.

    I look forward to what you decide on the canvas–no question it will be brilliant as always!

    PS–I love KW Channels and have it in my LR and DR! It was one I didn't want to DIY. I'm sure its painterly print is why I love it so.

  11. Last summer, I read an article in BHG (I think it was that one!) that you suggested paint drop cloths for curtains . . . I had been searching and searching for curtains and I have these really tall ceilings, so when I priced them out it was like $1200 for linen curtains online. I went to home depot, spent $60 on drop cloths, hemmed them, and they have fooled many people as "linen." I love the duck cloth! You always have such great suggestions that look good and save tons of green:)

  12. If you go to, you will be over-inspired. No great pics or anything…just SO MANY awesome fabric dying options. Marbelizing is my big summer project so I was looking for supplies and now I want to paint/stamp/bleach/batik/dye everything. And thx for the source–extra wide fabric is always hard to find.

  13. The splatter pattern didn't sound appealing but it looks so good, managing to be subtle. It is probably my favourite between that and the geometric sorts you've including (probably!). Last summer I offered to sew up a set of curtains for my (parent's) kitchen and what should have been easy took so many attempts! I measured them with a tape measure, and they weren't even, then I measured them with a tape measure and against each other, and they still weren't even, and then I had about 3 more attempts! Not my favourite thing to do… Anyway, I say do the splatter!

  14. Internet Online System is very usefull and Billions of Peoples use Internet and Many of the peoples want to make money online from home and make online business for a life time
    We have the best Online earning System with Data Entry Jobs, Online Jobs, Network Marketing, SMS Earning, and Much More Online Work From home, Skype : Jobz.Corner

© Jenny Komenda. All Rights Reserved.
Site by