Design By MLE

A Short History

Design By MLE

History of Floorcloths

Floorcloths date back to Europe and Early America and were originally 
designed by the Quakers as affordable floor coverings that were popular in the 
18th and 19th century.  Most designs were geometric or marble.  As you may 
not have known George Washington himself owned a floorcloth, (back then 
known also as ‘oilcloth’ since oil paints were used), which he used in the White 
House.  He listed it in his 1796 financial disclosure at $14.82 and took it with him 
when he left the presidency.

Because seamless floorcloths often covered an entire room, it was common for 
building floorcloth factories near sail making centers in seaports.  As time 
progressed, so came along engine-power, Linoleum, and other factory-made 
flooring replaced floorcloths.

Today floorcloths are slowly resurfacing as many people are replacing 
carpeting for hardwood floors with an area rug to protect it from dirt and water 

Floorcloths are still made today as they were centuries ago, with a heavyweight 
cotton canvas that is hemmed, primed, decorated and sealed with seven coats 
of varnish to protect and enhance colors.  The final product is toped with 
Butcher’s Wax to enhance the beauty.

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