A wallpaper is a sheet of paper, fabric or other material that is applied to walls with wallpaper paste. It can be plain as “lining paper” (to allow a wall to be painted, or used to help cover uneven surfaces and minor wall defects) or with a pattern design. The pattern can be a single large repeating design, or more usually a smaller non-repeating one carried over a set of sheets. It is also possible to buy wallpaper with a textured surface (for example Anaglypta) or with a raised print. Most modern wallpapers are made with vinyl, which allows them to be more durable and easier to clean. Early wallpaper featured scenes similar to those depicted on tapestries and large sheets of the paper were sometimes hung loosely like a wallhanging. Prints were often enlarged for this purpose and many important artists produced both picture prints intended to be hung, and ornament prints designed to be pasted to walls.
The 1700s saw a surge in landscape painting and this popularity was translated to the production of panoramic scene wallpapers. These could feature the mountain villages of Switzerland, the gardens of Paris and the great Niagara Falls. Alternatively they could represent views from the Grand Tour of the rich, or expeditions to foreign countries such as Captain Cook’s voyages to South America and India. French designers such as Dufour and Zuber produced many such designs, while others produced neoclassical motifs or mythological motifs.
As well as printing and hand painting, a number of methods were used to apply colour. These included the use of stencils, watercolour and gouache, as well as more unusual materials such as wool, gravel or straw for grounding. Eventually the method of using woodblocks for each colour was mechanized from the 1830s and this allowed much more detailed designs to be printed.
Today there are many different types of wallpaper available, with both traditional and modern styles being available. Contemporary style wallpaper is very popular, especially with teenagers and young adults who want a fresh new look in their bedroom, living room or study. Many of these styles are inspired by nature with tropical engravings, palm tree illustrations and forest photos being common themes.
Scenolia’s giant wallpapers are easy to hang. Unlike traditional wallpaper which is pasted in strips, our papers are one-piece and can be easily cut with a cutter before being pasted to the wall. They are also resistant to light and can be cleaned with a damp cloth. papier peint nature tapisserie panoramique