Wallpaper
Overview
 
Wallpaper is a kind of material used to cover and decorate the interior wall
Wall
A wall is a usually solid structure that defines and sometimes protects an area. Most commonly, a wall delineates a building and supports its superstructure, separates space in buildings into rooms, or protects or delineates a space in the open air...

s of homes, offices, and other building
Building
In architecture, construction, engineering, real estate development and technology the word building may refer to one of the following:...

s; it is one aspect of interior decoration. It is usually sold in rolls and is put onto a wall using wallpaper paste
Wallpaper paste
Wallpaper adhesive or wallpaper paste is a specific adhesive, based on modified starch or methylcellulose, used to fix wallpaper to walls.Wallpaper pastes have a typical shear thinning viscosity and a high wet adhesive tack...

. Wallpapers can come plain (so that it can be painted), textured (such as Anaglypta
Anaglypta
Lincrusta was invented in 1877 by Frederick Walton. It became an instant success because it was the first washable wallcovering and appealed to the Victorians because of its sanitary properties as well as its durability and ornate effects. Originally made on a linen backing, it was however, quite...

), or with patterned graphics.

Wallpaper printing techniques include surface printing
Surface printing
Surface printing is the oldest automated printing method still in use today. Surface machines lay down very heavy amounts of ink. Because the ink is pushed onto the paper, the images are not as crisp as the other methods. Also, there is no drying stage between laying down each color, so the...

, gravure printing
Rotogravure
Rotogravure is a type of intaglio printing process; that is, it involves engraving the image onto an image carrier...

, silk screen-printing
Screen-printing
Screen printing is a printing technique that uses a woven mesh to support an ink-blocking stencil. The attached stencil forms open areas of mesh that transfer ink or other printable materials which can be pressed through the mesh as a sharp-edged image onto a substrate...

, rotary printing
Rotary printing press
A rotary printing press is a printing press in which the images to be printed are curved around a cylinder. Printing can be done on large number of substrates, including paper, cardboard, and plastic. Substrates can be sheet feed or unwound on a continuous roll through the press to be printed and...

, and digital printing
Digital printing
Digital printing refers to methods of printing from a digital based image directly to a variety of media. It usually refers to professional printing where small run jobs from desktop publishing and other digital sources are printed using large format and/or high volume laser or inkjet printers...

. Mathematically speaking, there are seventeen basic patterns, described as wallpaper group
Wallpaper group
A wallpaper group is a mathematical classification of a two-dimensional repetitive pattern, based on the symmetries in the pattern. Such patterns occur frequently in architecture and decorative art...

s, that can be used to tile an infinite plane.
Encyclopedia
Wallpaper is a kind of material used to cover and decorate the interior wall
Wall
A wall is a usually solid structure that defines and sometimes protects an area. Most commonly, a wall delineates a building and supports its superstructure, separates space in buildings into rooms, or protects or delineates a space in the open air...

s of homes, offices, and other building
Building
In architecture, construction, engineering, real estate development and technology the word building may refer to one of the following:...

s; it is one aspect of interior decoration. It is usually sold in rolls and is put onto a wall using wallpaper paste
Wallpaper paste
Wallpaper adhesive or wallpaper paste is a specific adhesive, based on modified starch or methylcellulose, used to fix wallpaper to walls.Wallpaper pastes have a typical shear thinning viscosity and a high wet adhesive tack...

. Wallpapers can come plain (so that it can be painted), textured (such as Anaglypta
Anaglypta
Lincrusta was invented in 1877 by Frederick Walton. It became an instant success because it was the first washable wallcovering and appealed to the Victorians because of its sanitary properties as well as its durability and ornate effects. Originally made on a linen backing, it was however, quite...

), or with patterned graphics.

Wallpaper printing techniques include surface printing
Surface printing
Surface printing is the oldest automated printing method still in use today. Surface machines lay down very heavy amounts of ink. Because the ink is pushed onto the paper, the images are not as crisp as the other methods. Also, there is no drying stage between laying down each color, so the...

, gravure printing
Rotogravure
Rotogravure is a type of intaglio printing process; that is, it involves engraving the image onto an image carrier...

, silk screen-printing
Screen-printing
Screen printing is a printing technique that uses a woven mesh to support an ink-blocking stencil. The attached stencil forms open areas of mesh that transfer ink or other printable materials which can be pressed through the mesh as a sharp-edged image onto a substrate...

, rotary printing
Rotary printing press
A rotary printing press is a printing press in which the images to be printed are curved around a cylinder. Printing can be done on large number of substrates, including paper, cardboard, and plastic. Substrates can be sheet feed or unwound on a continuous roll through the press to be printed and...

, and digital printing
Digital printing
Digital printing refers to methods of printing from a digital based image directly to a variety of media. It usually refers to professional printing where small run jobs from desktop publishing and other digital sources are printed using large format and/or high volume laser or inkjet printers...

. Mathematically speaking, there are seventeen basic patterns, described as wallpaper group
Wallpaper group
A wallpaper group is a mathematical classification of a two-dimensional repetitive pattern, based on the symmetries in the pattern. Such patterns occur frequently in architecture and decorative art...

s, that can be used to tile an infinite plane. All manufactured wallpaper patterns are based on these groups. A single pattern can be issued in several different colorways.

History

Wallpaper, using the printmaking
Printmaking
Printmaking is the process of making artworks by printing, normally on paper. Printmaking normally covers only the process of creating prints with an element of originality, rather than just being a photographic reproduction of a painting. Except in the case of monotyping, the process is capable...

 technique of woodcut
Woodcut
Woodcut—occasionally known as xylography—is a relief printing artistic technique in printmaking in which an image is carved into the surface of a block of wood, with the printing parts remaining level with the surface while the non-printing parts are removed, typically with gouges...

, gained popularity in Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 Europe amongst the emerging gentry
Gentry
Gentry denotes "well-born and well-bred people" of high social class, especially in the past....

. The elite of society were accustomed to hanging large tapestries on the walls of their homes, a tradition from the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

. These tapestries added color to the room as well as providing an insulating layer between the stone walls and the room, thus retaining heat in the room. However, tapestries were extremely expensive and so only the very rich could afford them. Less well-off members of the elite, unable to buy tapestries due either to prices or wars preventing international trade, turned to wallpaper to brighten up their rooms.

Early wallpaper featured scenes similar to those depicted on tapestries, and large sheets of the paper were sometimes hung loose on the walls, in the style of tapestries, and sometimes pasted as today. Prints were very often pasted to walls, instead of being framed and hung, and the largest sizes of prints, which came in several sheets, were probably mainly intended to be pasted to walls. Some important artists made such pieces, notably Albrecht Dürer
Albrecht Dürer
Albrecht Dürer was a German painter, printmaker, engraver, mathematician, and theorist from Nuremberg. His prints established his reputation across Europe when he was still in his twenties, and he has been conventionally regarded as the greatest artist of the Northern Renaissance ever since...

, who worked on both large picture prints and also ornament prints intended for wall-hanging. The largest picture print was The Triumphal Arch commissioned by the Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor
The Holy Roman Emperor is a term used by historians to denote a medieval ruler who, as German King, had also received the title of "Emperor of the Romans" from the Pope...

 Maximilian I
Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor
Maximilian I , the son of Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor and Eleanor of Portugal, was King of the Romans from 1486 and Holy Roman Emperor from 1493 until his death, though he was never in fact crowned by the Pope, the journey to Rome always being too risky...

 and completed in 1515. This measured a colossal 3.57 by 2.95 metres, made up of 192 sheets, and was printed in a first edition of 700 copies, intended to be hung in palaces and, in particular, town halls, after hand-coloring.

Very few samples of the earliest repeating pattern wallpapers survive, but there are a large number of old master print
Old master print
An old master print is a work of art produced by a printing process within the Western tradition . A date of about 1830 is usually taken as marking the end of the period whose prints are covered by this term. The main techniques concerned are woodcut, engraving and etching, although there are...

s, often in engraving
Engraving
Engraving is the practice of incising a design on to a hard, usually flat surface, by cutting grooves into it. The result may be a decorated object in itself, as when silver, gold, steel, or glass are engraved, or may provide an intaglio printing plate, of copper or another metal, for printing...

 of repeating or repeatable decorative patterns. These are called ornament prints and were intended as models for wallpaper makers, among other uses.

England and France were leaders in European wallpaper manufacturing. Among the earliest known samples is one found on a wall from England and is printed on the back of a London proclamation of 1509. It became very popular in England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 following Henry VIII
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

's excommunication from the Catholic Church - English aristocrats had always imported tapestries from Flanders
Flanders
Flanders is the community of the Flemings but also one of the institutions in Belgium, and a geographical region located in parts of present-day Belgium, France and the Netherlands. "Flanders" can also refer to the northern part of Belgium that contains Brussels, Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp...

 and Arras
Arras
Arras is the capital of the Pas-de-Calais department in northern France. The historic centre of the Artois region, its local speech is characterized as a Picard dialect...

, but Henry VIII's split with the Catholic Church had resulted in a fall in trade with Europe. Without any tapestry manufacturers in England, English gentry and aristocracy alike turned to wallpaper.

During the Protectorate
The Protectorate
In British history, the Protectorate was the period 1653–1659 during which the Commonwealth of England was governed by a Lord Protector.-Background:...

 under Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell was an English military and political leader who overthrew the English monarchy and temporarily turned England into a republican Commonwealth, and served as Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland....

, the manufacture of wallpaper, seen as a frivolous item by the Puritan
Puritan
The Puritans were a significant grouping of English Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries. Puritanism in this sense was founded by some Marian exiles from the clergy shortly after the accession of Elizabeth I of England in 1558, as an activist movement within the Church of England...

 government, was halted. Following the Restoration of Charles II
Charles II of England
Charles II was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland.Charles II's father, King Charles I, was executed at Whitehall on 30 January 1649, at the climax of the English Civil War...

, wealthy people across England began demanding wallpaper again - Cromwell's regime had imposed a boring culture on people, and following his death, wealthy people began purchasing comfortable domestic items which had been banned under the Puritan state. In 1712, during the reign of Queen Anne
Anne of Great Britain
Anne ascended the thrones of England, Scotland and Ireland on 8 March 1702. On 1 May 1707, under the Act of Union, two of her realms, England and Scotland, were united as a single sovereign state, the Kingdom of Great Britain.Anne's Catholic father, James II and VII, was deposed during the...

, a wallpaper tax
Wallpaper tax
The wallpaper tax was introduced in Great Britain in 1712, during the reign of Queen Anne. Patterned, printed, or painted wallpaper was initially taxed at 1d per square yard, rising to 1s , by 1809. The tax was bypassed by purchasing untaxed plain paper and having it hand stenciled. The tax was...

 was introduced which was not abolished until 1836. By the mid-eighteenth century, Britain was the leading wallpaper manufacturer in Europe, exporting vast quantities to Europe in addition to selling on the middle-class British market. However this trade was seriously disrupted in 1755 by the Seven Years War and later the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

, and by a heavy level of duty on imports to France.

In 1748 the English ambassador to Paris decorated his salon with blue flock wallpaper, which then became very fashionable there. In the 1760s the French manufacturer Jean-Baptiste Réveillon
Jean-Baptiste Réveillon
Jean-Baptiste Réveillon, was a French wallpaper manufacturer. Réveillon's career was an exemplary story of the self-made businessman.-Life:...

 hired designers working in silk and tapestry to produce some of the most subtle and luxurious wallpaper ever made. His sky blue wallpaper with fleurs-de-lys was used in 1783 on the first balloons by the Montgolfier brothers
Montgolfier brothers
Joseph-Michel Montgolfier and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier were the inventors of the montgolfière-style hot air balloon, globe aérostatique. The brothers succeeded in launching the first manned ascent, carrying Étienne into the sky...

. The landscape painter Jean-Baptiste Pillement
Jean-Baptiste Pillement
Jean-Baptiste Pillement was a painter and designer, known for his exquisite and delicate landscapes, but whose importance lies primarily in the engravings done after his drawings, and their influence in spreading the Rococo style and particularly the taste for chinoiserie throughout...

 discovered in 1763 a method to use fast colours. Towards the end of the century the fashion for scenic wallpaper revived in both England and France, leading to some enormous panorama
Panorama
A panorama is any wide-angle view or representation of a physical space, whether in painting, drawing, photography, film/video, or a three-dimensional model....

s, like the 1804 20 strip wide Panorama, designed by the artist Jean-Gabriel Charvet
Jean-Gabriel Charvet
Jean-Gabriel Charvet , also known as Jean Gabriel Charvet, was a French painter, designer and draftsman who was born in Serrières, Ardèche, France. He studied at the École de Dessin in Lyon under the French artist Donat Nonotte and worked as a designer for the French wallpaper manufacturer Joseph...

 for the French Manufacture Joseph Dufour et Cie
Joseph Dufour et Cie
Joseph Dufour et Cie, founded 1797 by Joseph and Pierre Dufour, was a s a French Manufacture de Papier Peints et Tissus manufacturer located in Mâcon, France.-General:...

 showing the Voyages of Captain Cook. One of this famous so called "papier peint" wallpaper is still in situ in Ham House, Peabody Massachusetts. Beside Joseph Dufour et Cie
Joseph Dufour et Cie
Joseph Dufour et Cie, founded 1797 by Joseph and Pierre Dufour, was a s a French Manufacture de Papier Peints et Tissus manufacturer located in Mâcon, France.-General:...

 other French manufacturers of panoramic scenic and trompe l'œil wallpapers, Zuber et Cie and Arthur et Robert
Arthur et Robert
Arthur et Robert was a Paris based wallpaper manufacturer active during the late 18th and early 19th centuries...

 exported their product across Europe and North America. Zuber et Cie's c. 1834 design Views of North America is installed in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

. Like most of eighteenth century wallpapers, this was designed to be hung above a dado
Dado (architecture)
In architectural terminology, the dado, borrowed from Italian meaning die or plinth, is the lower part of a wall, below the dado rail and above the skirting board....

.
Hand-blocking wallpapers like these are manufactured by using a centuries old method in which wallpaper is hand-printed from hand-carved blocks on paper. Hand-blocked wallpaper depicted scenes include, panoramic views of antique architecture, exotic landscapes and pastoral subjects, as well as repeating patterns of stylized flowers, people and animals. The 1797 founded French company Zuber et Cie in Rixheim
Rixheim
Rixheim is a commune in the Haut-Rhin department in Alsace in north-eastern France. It forms part of the Mulhouse Alsace Agglomération, the inter-communal local government body for the Mulhouse conurbation.-References:*...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 is the only company in the world which still manufactures woodblocked
Woodblock printing
Woodblock printing is a technique for printing text, images or patterns used widely throughout East Asia and originating in China in antiquity as a method of printing on textiles and later paper....

 wallpaper.

In 1785 Christophe-Philippe Oberkampf
Christophe-Philippe Oberkampf
Christophe-Philippe Oberkampf was a French naturalized German industrialist. He became famous for founding the royal manufacture of printed cottons of Jouy-en-Josas where the toile de Jouy was manufactured....

 had invented the first machine for printing coloured tints on sheets of wallpaper. In 1799 Louis-Nicolas Robert
Louis-Nicolas Robert
Louis-Nicolas Robert was a French soldier and mechanical engineer, who is credited with a paper-making invention that became the blueprint of the Fourdrinier machine....

 patented a machine to produce continuous lengths of paper, the forerunner of the Fourdrinier machine
Fourdrinier machine
This article contains a glossary section at the end.Most modern papermaking machines are based on the principles of the Fourdrinier Machine. It has been used in some variation since its inception...

. This ability to produce continuous lengths of wallpaper now offered the prospect of novel designs and nice tints being widely displayed in drawing rooms across Europe.

During the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

 , trade between Europe and Britain evaporated, resulting in the gradual decline of the wallpaper industry in Britain. However, the end of the war saw a massive demand in Europe for British goods which had been inaccessible during the wars, including cheap, colourful wallpaper. The development of steam-powered printing presses in Britain in 1813 allowed manufacturers to mass-produce wallpaper, reducing its price and so making it affordable to working-class people. Wallpaper enjoyed a huge boom in popularity in the nineteenth century, seen as a cheap and very effective way of brightening up cramped and dark rooms in working-class areas. By the early twentieth century, wallpaper had established itself as one of the most popular household items across the Western world. During the late 1980s though, wallpaper began to fall out of fashion in lieu of Faux Painting
Faux painting
Faux painting or faux finishing are terms used to describe a wide range of decorative painting techniques. The naming comes from the French word faux, meaning false, as these techniques started as a form of replicating materials such as marble and wood with paint, but has subsequently come to...

 which can be more easily removed by simply re-painting.

Types and sizes

Modern wallcoverings are diverse. Two of the most common factory trimmed sizes of wallpaper are referred to as "American" and "European" rolled goods. American rolled goods are 27 inches by 27 feet (8.2 m) in length. European rolled goods are 21.5 inches wide by 33 feet (10.1 m) in length. Approx. 60 square feet (5.6 m²). Most wallpaper borders are sold by linear foot and with a wide range of widths therefore square footage is not applicable. Although some may require trimming.

The most common wall covering for residential use and generally the most economical is prepasted vinyl coated paper
Coated paper
Coated paper is paper which has been coated by a compound to impart certain qualities to the paper, including weight, surface gloss, smoothness or reduced ink absorbency. Kaolinite or calcium carbonate are used to coat paper for high quality printing used in packaging industry and in magazines...

, commonly called "strippable" which can be misleading. Cloth backed vinyl is fairly common and durable. Lighter vinyls are easier to handle and hang. Paper backed vinyls are generally more expensive, significantly more difficult to hang, and can be found in wider untrimmed widths. Foil wallpaper generally has paper backing and can (exceptionally) be up to 36 inches wide, and be very difficult to handle and hang. Textile wallpapers include silks, linens, grass cloths, strings, rattan, and actual impressed leaves. There are acoustical wall carpets to reduce sound. Customized wallcoverings are available at high prices and most often have minimum roll orders.

Solid vinyl with a cloth backing is the most common commercial wallcovering and comes from the factory as untrimmed at 54 inches approximately, to be overlapped and double cut by the installer. This same type can be pre-trimmed at the factory to 27 inches approximately.

Use

Like paint
Paint
Paint is any liquid, liquefiable, or mastic composition which after application to a substrate in a thin layer is converted to an opaque solid film. One may also consider the digital mimicry thereof...

, wallpaper requires proper surface preparation before application. Additionally, wallpaper is not suitable for all areas. For example, bathroom
Bathroom
A bathroom is a room for bathing in containing a bathtub and/or a shower and optionally a toilet, a sink/hand basin/wash basin and possibly also a bidet....

 wallpaper may deteriorate rapidly due to excessive steam
Steam
Steam is the technical term for water vapor, the gaseous phase of water, which is formed when water boils. In common language it is often used to refer to the visible mist of water droplets formed as this water vapor condenses in the presence of cooler air...

.
Proper preparation includes the repair of any defects in the drywall or plaster and the removal of loose material or old adhesives. Accurate room measurements (length, width, and height) along with number of window and door openings is essential for ordering wallpaper. Large drops, or repeats, in a pattern can be cut and hung more economically by working from alternating rolls of paper. Paper is sold (with very few exceptions) in double rolls.

Wallpaper adhesives

Most wallpaper adhesive are starch
Starch
Starch or amylum is a carbohydrate consisting of a large number of glucose units joined together by glycosidic bonds. This polysaccharide is produced by all green plants as an energy store...

 or methylcellulose
Methylcellulose
Methyl cellulose is a chemical compound derived from cellulose. It is a hydrophilic white powder in pure form and dissolves in cold water, forming a clear viscous solution or gel. It is sold under a variety of trade names and is used as a thickener and emulsifier in various food and cosmetic...

 based.

Water

The simplest removal option is to brush the paper with water. Water soaks through the paper and saturates the glue, allowing the paper to be peeled off.

This does not work well with non-peelable vinyls, as vinyl is not porous. Nevertheless it is still effective on many modern papers.

A mixture of 3:1 or 1:1 Water and White Vinegar is effective at dissolving glues. If the wallpaper is scored or sanded with a 20 grit floor sanding pad to scratch the surface solution uptake will be more effective.

Chemical wallpaper stripper

Chemical wallpaper stripper can be purchased at most paint or home improvement stores. It is mixed with warm water or a mixture of warm water and vinegar, then sprayed onto wall surfaces. Several applications may be required to saturate the existing wallpaper. Perforation can aid in the absorption of the mixture and lead to faster removal. After the mixture has dissolved the wallpaper paste, the wallpaper can be removed easily by pulling at the edges and with the aid of a putty or drywall knife.

Steam

Another method of removal is to apply steam to wallpaper in order to dissolve the wallpaper paste.
A wallpaper steamer
Wallpaper steamer
A wallpaper steamer is an electrical device which boils water continuously in order to produce steam. This steam is then allowed to pass through a narrow bore tube to a face plate. This face plate is then held against a wallpapered wall. The steam passes through the paper, saturates the backing...

 consists of a reservoir of water, an electric heating element, and a hose to direct the steam at the wallpaper. The steam dissolves the wallpaper paste, allowing the wallpaper to be peeled off. However, care must be taken to prevent damage to the drywall
Drywall
Drywall, also known as plasterboard, wallboard or gypsum board is a panel made of gypsum plaster pressed between two thick sheets of paper...

underneath. Sometimes steaming can lead to the crumbling of underlying drywall or plaster, leaving an uneven surface to be repaired.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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