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?

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  1. I’m a big fan of ticking in several colorways & it has always been a part of our home. In one house I purposely used a small dose of ticking & toile in every room just because it was fun for me. I agree it’s like a neutral. Also I enjoy high/low design, some elegant things along with simple hardworking things so ticking works well. In the 80s i happened upon a gal selling armloads of vintage French ticking for a steal so I wanted to buy it all to make loose couch cushions & use chunky, scrubbed pine furniture. But my husband just didn’t get it so I walked away. HUGE mistake.

  2. Margaret Shipley says:

    I love love love ticking. I think it goes with so much and it’s just classic.

  3. I am a total fan of ticking, do think it’s timeless, and totally agree that it fits in EVERYWHERE. I especially love it mixed with a chintz print and tossed with buffalo check. I love the photos you show and will definitely be pinning. Just yesterday I read a post from Lets Add Sprinkles that was all about ticking, and the many ways she used it in her home. I have quite a few yards of both blue and red, which I think is especially pretty at Christmas time. Ticking is simple, unpretentious and sends a message of inviting cozy comfort.

  4. Oh I just adore ticking! I love the photo you shared of the ticking with the vintage grain sack! What a fabulous look! I use a lot of it in my creations! After seeing this, I made have to add more colors!
    Have a lovely day!

    1. User Avatar Tidbits&Twine says:

      Hi Becky – That’s one of my favorite combinations as well! Your shop has so many beautiful things – I love it! :)

  5. I don’t think it’s a trendy item at all. It’s almost neutral to me. I have red and white ticking and plan to add some of the blue and white soon. Love it all!

  6. When we toured Southern Living’s Idea House in Nashville, my favorite thing was a red bedroom where they had “wallpapered” the walls with red ticking fabric! It was beautiful and made the room feel so warm! I just love ticking.

    1. User Avatar Tidbits&Twine says:

      Lynn – I’ll bet it was so much fun to tour the Idea House! And I can only imagine how cozy the ticking walls must have made the room feel!

  7. Thanks for including my table runner Kim! I love ticking as well, and find that it fits in so many different styles of decorating. It is definitely a timeless classic!

  8. I agree with you…ticking is a classic, not a trend. And I love that some of these photos use it in decor other than country, which is where you usually see it. I pinned several of them.

    1. User Avatar Tidbits&Twine says:

      Hi Julie – Thanks so much for your comment! I really wanted to make sure that I included photos other than country or shabby chic because I feel that there’s a misconception that the use of ticking is limited to certain decorating styles, which just isn’t the case! I’m glad you found some images that you liked and pinned. :)

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