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Textile Spotlight: The Ticking Trend

Design Tips

I recently saw the cutest market bag made from a gray stripe ticking fabric, which got me thinking about this fabric. It it a trend?  I don’t think so, as it has been around for many, many years and it’s use has evolved from purely utilitarian to decorative.  Rather than a trend, I think it’s a classic!



Ticking fabric is a heavy, tightly woven cotton or linen was originally used to cover mattresses and pillows because it helped to prevent feather filling from poking through.  Vintage ticking is more tightly woven and a heavier material than today’s reproductions, but modern-day ticking fabric is equally beautiful with its classic, striped design.

The most common design is a small vertical stripe in muted colors such as gray, blue and brown against a light-colored, neutral background; however, as the use of ticking evolved, so did the patterns.

Floral ticking fabric
{Floral ticking fabric via Tumblr}

Decorative Use

To me, there is something so quaint in the simplicity of the striped design and the benefit of it is that is coordinates with so many other fabrics, making it a great choice in decorating.  Ticking fabric is a multi-use textile that works in both casual and elegant settings.  It can also be used on accent pieces, such as pillows, or as the upholstery on center stage pieces.

If you’re feeling bold, you could use ticking throughout the room, from the fabrics to the walls!

Personally, I’m not that bold, but I do really love the whimsical surprise that ticking wallpaper provides in this linen closet.  {Plus, what I wouldn’t give to have my linen closet be this organized!}

Ticking stripes on upholstered pieces can give a clean, refined look, as well as look dramatic without being overpowering.

Ticking fabric sofas
{source unknown}
Ticking fabric sofa
{via Better Homes and Gardens}
Ticking fabric side chairs
{via Houzz}

And I wasn’t too sure about tufting with ticking fabric because of the lines, but this chesterfield in Marjorie Wollan’s apartment is beautiful!

If you’re looking for a smaller dose of upholstery ticking, chairs are a good option.  Notice how all of these dining chairs have ticking fabric on them, yet the feel and overall look is so different depending on what is paired with the fabric.

Ticking fabric dining chairs
{via Horchow}
Ticking fabric slipcover
{source unknown}

In my own home, I change my style way too often to make a commitment to any sort of pattern on my walls or upholstery, so for me, accent pieces in ticking stripe are a better option.  Since ticking stripes mix well with other patterns, pillows are a great option.

French Farmhouse Family Room in Blue and White
{Tidbits&Twine Family Room}

Or maybe bedding!

Even table linens look beautiful in ticking stripes, like these napkins…

Ticking stripe napkins
{via Holamama}

…or this ruffled table runner from The Stitchin’ Chicken!

I also love the vintage look that the fabric adds to the bathroom in this cute shower curtain.

Even laundry basket liners look great made from ticking.

It even looks beautiful outdoors!

Ticking fabric outdoor cushion

I currently have ticking striped sheets in my guest bedroom.  A few years ago, I bought these cute gray striped sheets from Target and fell in love with them once I put them on the bed.


So are you a fan of ticking fabric?