Materials: The Basics

Fig.1 A period sofa in the sitting room at Cedar Falls

Above is one of the sofa’s in the sitting room at Cedar Falls, the site that I visited at the beginning of this assignment. There is a repeating pattern on the fabric of a peacock and floral design. Looking at the design it reminds me of patterns created by William Morris, inspired by nature with the leaves, vines and peacocks. It has a silky feel to it and I hazard a guess that it’s likely to be damask, maybe woven with satin. The fringe tassels finish the sofa glamorously. There are four wooden posts along the back edge of the sofa and possibly the ends fold out to make a day bed.

Fig.2 Cedar Falls sitting room rug

Here is one of the many rugs on the sitting room floor in Cedar Falls. Again it has a floral inspired by nature pattern, typical of the Victorian era and likely to made from 100% wool.

Fig.3 Cornice and stencilling in the sitting room, Cedar Falls

The cornice and stencilling above is around the sitting room at Cedar Falls, typical patterns resembling the Georgian era. Intricate moulding would have been made from plaster and these mouldings can be re-created today.

Fig.4 Curtain drapes surrounding a window in the sitting room, Cedar Falls

Early Georgian curtains and fabrics were often heavy and dense, silk and cotton chintzes being popular materials for making drapes. By 1770 the furnishing of fabrics was being revolutionised by Britains industrial development. Fabrics were being printed, cotton chintzes were introduced that were cheap and washable. By 1820, blues, lilacs and fawns were very much in fashion. By the late 18th century care was being taken to match both curtains and other fabrics in the room.

In 1840, the Workwoman’s Guide advised, that in bedrooms, ‘window curtains should always accord with the hanging on the bed, both in colour and material, as also in shape‘ (Georgian Group Guides s.d)


Fig.1 – 4 My own photograph’s in the sitting room at Cedar Falls.


Georgian Group Guides (accessed 9.5.20)

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