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The Floorcloth

For 150 years Lakeport’s entry hall floorcloth provided a decorative washable surface that helped keep dirt from soiling the finer carpets beyond the entry. Common in its day, it is a rare gem in spite of much loss and wear. Few mid-nineteenth century floor cloths 26’ x 15’ have survived in situ. After much deliberation, it was divided in four sections following the areas of most loss and removed from the floor. The meticulous cleaning process by Becky Witsell of Little Rock and her Studio-Werk crew involved removal of many layers of varnish, dirt and wax and one over-painting of solid ochre paint. Both the printed upper surface and the woven substrate required consolidation. The area behind the front door and those protected by large pieces of furniture now reveal the beautiful hand printed design. Fourteen colors were used to print the pattern that imitates the look of a fine woven carpet.


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