By Judith Anderson
Special to the Mercury News
ONE of the freshest looks in floor coverings is al least 200 years old.
Floorcloths, area rugs made of canvas that has been painted or stenciled,
were popular in Colonial America. People like George Washington and John
Hancock used them in their homes because they were durable, less costly
than woven rugs and just as decorative.
Today, the materials have improved but the idea is the same. Although
they are no longer inexpensive because of the time involved in creating
them by hand, floorcloths are an attractive and durable example of folk
The revival of floorcloths began several years ago on the East Coast,
where they originated. A visiting craftsperson from New York recently told
a friend in San Francisco that "everyone is making them there." In the
last year, the trend has made it to the West Coast. At least three Bay
Area artists have picked up on the idea and have begun producing their own
versions of the artistic canvases. Some of their customers, reluctant to
walk on the creations, are using them as wall hangings. ...