Colorful Jacobean Fabrics Still King


I am still playing with my acquired vintage fabrics this week and I’ve been having a great time! As I mentioned in last week’s blog, the hands down favorites were the Jacobean prints. So, I want to keep talking about them.

By definition, Jacobean prints replicate the crewel embroidery of the early 1600 Jacobean Era, when King James I made them popular; sealing their historic legacy. And if you read my blog on crewel you know how crazy I am about it! Jacobean prints are full of exaggerated elements, like whimsical flowers, animals and birds. Tree branches are one of the main elements of the designs, paying homage to the Indian influence referring to the Tree of Life. The colors, vibrant, multi-color and bold are nearly always what people gush about Jacobean prints the most! It’s one of the reasons I love Jacobean prints; I am always drawn to saturated color or prints.

Considering Jacobean designs are more than 500 years old, there is something intriguing about prints that NEVER go out to of style. Right now, Jacobean prints are being used to cover accessory pieces, like side chairs. They are being paired as pillows with geometrics for an updated, modern look. But I think they are still “king” as draperies, just as they were in King James’ day. I am currently making a pair of draperies from a gorgeous Schumacher print. It’s probably 40 years old with vivid reds, blues and greens. It has all the traditional elements – branches, stylized flowers and an amazing Phoenix bird, it is so dramatic. I can’t wait to see them in place!

With its vibrancy and bold elements, there is an elegance to these prints. Maybe, it’s the flow of the branches that lead your eye up and down. Or maybe it is the intricate crosshatching of the flowers and leaves, simulating the actual needlepoint work. Or it might be the whimsy of a deer appearing in the midst of the design, or a highly stylized bird that makes its appearance. All of these things for me are the “eye candy” that makes me fall in love with Jacobean prints every time I see one.

So look around; Jacobean prints are everywhere. Pier One is wall-to-wall with them. And Jacobean fabrics are on the pages of some fabulous magazines. You might be surprised to realize you have them in your own home, or you might recognize them as having been in your mother’s or grandmother’s home.

Tell us what you like about the Jacobean prints and as always share your pictures with us! Check out more Jacobean print ideas on Pintrest and Houzz.

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