Reproducing Vintage Fabrics

Vintage fabrics produced by Ballard Designs

Reproducing vintage fabrics for Ballard Designs

You’ve probably heard a few of our stories over the years of finding inspiration in a beautiful antique we’ve uncovered on our travels abroad. It usually involves a piece of furniture, a chandelier or even a botanical study. But this story is a little different. This fall, we’re introducing two new Fabric by the Yard selections based on vintage scraps of fabric we’ve found. Yes, fabric.

Ryder stripe fabric for Ballard Designs

Ryder Stripe

The original sample of vintage fabric for Ryder Stripe actually sat in our files for years before we decided to reproduce it. But it was worth the wait. As Carmen, our Fabric Buyer, pointed out, a good stripe is hard to find!

It’s not unusual for us to hold onto an antique for when the timing is right. As for Ryder Stripe, we were always drawn to its perfect shade of red, and when we realized it was a natural fit with our fall palette, we knew its moment had finally arrived.

Often, we’ll tinker with the pattern or the color during production to make it our own, but we developed this fabric exactly as is. The details are what make this fabric so special. Look closely and you’ll notice a subtle herringbone effect in the taupe stripe and a hint of a yellow/orange hue in another.

Whenever we’re courting a particular fabric, we always make sure it’s a good match for upholstery — or it’s a deal breaker. Here, the proportionality of the stripes create a nice balance and line up perfectly on our Parsons Chair.

We love the casual, classic cottage feel of Ryder Stripe and think it would look fabulous as a pair of panels. What do you think?

Sydney Berry fabric from Ballard Designs

Sydney Berry

It all began with a visit to the “Vintage Fabric Lady,” as we so fondly refer to her. It was love at first sight when she showed us a lovely 19th-century French fabric. We promptly picked up the sample and set about reproducing what would eventually become Sydney Berry.

We found the reverse side of the fabric especially appealing, so we used that as our starting point. As for the color, we used a piece of ribbon we bought in Paris as our guide. We went through several iterations with our manufacturer before arriving at the perfect fabric: a sophisticated floral that brings a refined blend of warmth and elegance to a room.

Sydney Berry is a perfect match for our Louis Chair, and we love the idea of covering a headboard in it for a welcome splash of color and a touch of femininity in a bedroom. Try pairing it with Suzanne Kasler Flax Linen, Natural Linen or even our Cheetah for a statement-making update.

Vintage fabrics produced by Ballard Designs

Annabel Heirloom Quilted Bedding

For our newest bedding collection, we actually combined several of our favorite fabrics in warm reds to create a classic quilted bedding, our Annabel Heirloom Quilted Bedding. You can find the Sydney Berry and the Ryder Stripe among the fabrics that create this patchwork quilt. We can’t help but love the way they all work together — stripes, florals, stamped patterns, and even a solid. All together, these fabrics balance each other!

Find more inspiration by browsing the spaces from our catalog in our Photo Gallery, or by visiting our Pinterest Boards.

How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.


  1. Reply

    Anne Moore

    September 10, 2014

    I love the decorated rooms and tips that you show, but I would like to see the furniture, rugs, lighting, etc ushown referenced so that we may be able to easily find them to purchase. Thank you