History of Wallpapers: From Tapestries To Today

wallpaper home design
Photo from: Designecologist

Throughout the course of history, wallpapers have developed tremendously. From tapestries to carpets, wallpaper and art have evolved together to become one of the most important aspects of decorating a home or commercial space.

Wallpaper is the term given to decorative fabric or paper used on walls and ceilings. It has been a part of our homes, offices, and shops since ancient times. If you love the art of decorating your house, then wallpapers are the best way to do it. A good wallpaper can help make your space look more lively and vibrant and can also add value to homes, spas, and resorts.

With that, there have been many interesting developments in this art form for centuries. But, what does history tell us about the emergence and evolution of wallpapers into the kind that we now have in our homes?

1440-1700: The Tapestry Days

The evolution of wallpaper started in 1440-1700, also known as the tapestry days. It was a period in European history when wallpapers were used to decorate and adorn the walls of homes and public buildings with rich colors and patterns. This was due to the introduction of new weaving techniques, which allowed for more vivid colors to be produced and applied. They became popular throughout Europe during this time and are still used today.

A tapestry is a piece of decorative textile art made up of many small pieces of fabric sewn together on a backing cloth to form a design. Tapestries have been made since ancient times for use as wall hangings and as such are often referred to as wall hangings, although they can be floor coverings or upholstered furniture. The term "tapestry" was first used in English around 1650, probably from French tapisserie or Italian tappezzeria, meaning "cloth weaving", related to Latin textilia, meaning "textile".

Tapestries were available in two main forms: portable works intended for display on a wall (wall hangings) or permanent works (floor coverings). The earliest known example of wall decoration using woven fabric is found in an ancient mosaic from Pompeii that displays a scene of hunters and wild animals. The fabric is made up of small squares sewn together with two parallel lines along each edge. These lines indicate that the pattern or design was woven into the fabric.

The invention of new techniques and materials made it possible to create larger wall coverings than ever before. The process involved using silk threads (known as "loom") to weave together pieces of fabric into a large piece that could be hung on the wall. It was also possible to use wool or silk thread to weave patterns or designs into these larger pieces.

wallpaper home design
Photo from: Magda Ehlers

1700-1800: Printing Techniques

The development of different printing techniques marks another milestone in the evolution of wallpapers - probably the most important one.

Wallpaper was initially created by hand. The process used to create wallpaper was to apply a paste and then roll it over a surface with a rolling pin or roller, which resulted in a more uneven design than what we see today. This style was basically crafted by people who were either illiterate or unable to read or write. They were able to produce patterns using their own imagination and this resulted in some very unique layouts that look like they have been painted onto the wall rather than being printed on it.

The first European printed wallpaper was made in 18th century Germany. The technique was introduced by a German papermaker named Johann Nepomuk Geiger who developed it after trial and error. He used wood pulp as the base material and drafted patterns by printing designs onto paper that had been coated with glue and water. This process allowed him to make intricate designs with colors and patterns.

Meanwhile, the first patent for wallpaper was issued to William Paley in 1775, who invented the machine that could print on silk fabric. The machine used four rollers that were controlled by two levers so that they could print different patterns onto different areas of the cloth at once.

In 1784, William Paley opened a factory for textile printing near Liverpool and he soon became very successful in his industry because of its versatility and durability, which helped him to expand his business overseas.

This led to another big change: paper became more affordable for consumers because it wasn't necessary anymore for artists to use paper as their medium of choice when creating their work.

As time progressed, printing became more popular, and more people started using it for creating their own designs on their walls which resulted in more uniform designs being used in different parts of Europe at this time period.

wallpaper home design
Photo from: NastyaSensei

1800-1945: Pre-Paste Wallpaper

Early wallpaper designs were simple, functional, and often floral. The evolution of wallpaper from 1800 to 1940 also known as the "Pre-Paste Wallpaper Period" is a fascinating study of how people's tastes changed over time.

The earliest wallpapers were made from linen or cotton and were used to decorate rooms and cover walls in the early 19th century. As technology improved, new materials were developed that allowed for more intricate designs. In the 1840s, the paste was introduced as an alternative to hand-made papers. It became popular with artists who wanted to create works of art on their walls.

The paste that was initially used as an adhesive for wallpapers is made from paper pulp and it has a sand-like texture. The first wallpaper made with paper pulp was invented in 1833 by Thomas Fuller, an Englishman who worked for The Daily Telegraph newspaper. He used shredded newspaper and glue to make his wallpaper, which he called “rag paper” because of its rough texture.

Fuller’s invention was popular among wealthy people who had the money to pay for such luxurious items as wallpaper, but it didn’t last long. In 1835, Fuller started another company called Thomas Fuller & Sons Ltd., which was later known as T.F. Fuller & Sons Ltd., one of Britain’s largest wallpaper manufacturers during the Victorian era (1837-1901).

In the 1890s, manufacturers began producing wallpaper rolls that could fit through doorways and windows. This allowed homeowners to decorate their homes with decorative wall patterns while still keeping them safe from fire hazards.

Some remarkable events that contributed significantly to the evolution of wallpaper designs include:

  • 1800-1910– This period was characterized by a strong influence of Italian designers and artists. They inspired European designers and contributed to the development of new technologies, materials, and designs.
  • 1910-1930 – During this time, American designers began to create their own designs based on traditional Japanese patterns. In Europe, they began experimenting with new materials such as silk, velvet, and cotton which led them to create new patterns for wallpapers.
  • 1930-1945– During this period, American designers continued working on new designs but many European companies closed down due to World War II.

As a result of the changes in this period, wallpapers became so popular that a lot of people began to use them as a way of displaying their wealth by decorating their homes with new styles of wallpaper.

1940 - Today: Self Stick Wallpaper

The 1940s was a time when self-adhesive wallpaper was first introduced by the Johnson and Johnson Company, which created a product that allowed you to stick your own designs on walls.

This wallpaper is made with a special adhesive that is applied to the back of the paper before it is laminated to the wall. The wall has to be cleaned and primed before applying this product, which is not easy at all. The advantage is that this paper can be removed without damaging it, yet it will not come off on its own.

wallpaper decoration art
Photo from: Victoria Art

In 1943, a patent was filed for a new type of wallpaper that had a removable backing. It was called "easy peel". This product became very popular with consumers because they could easily remove their paper without having to damage it or get it dirty.

But a few years later, in 1950, there were two types of removable wallpaper available on the market. One with a sticky back and one with tapered edges (called "easy peel"). These products were very popular because they were easy to peel off, but they still allowed you to add more designs or borders around them if needed.

The self-stick wallpaper can be used for either interior or exterior applications. It’s easy to install, comes in a variety of patterns, and you don’t have to worry about damaging your walls or ceiling after installation. You can find self-stick wallpaper in almost any color or pattern that you would like. They are usually used for decorative purposes around windows, doors, and other openings where ventilation is required or where moisture gets trapped inside a room or space. This innovation helped spur the creation of many other brands and companies who followed suit, producing their own lines of products to sell at retail stores.

Today, there are many different types of self-stick wallpaper available for purchase at any hardware store or home improvement store around the globe. Each brand has its own unique designs and colors, which allows for a wide variety of choices when designing your home or office space.

Indeed, wallpaper has gone through a lot of changes to become what it is today. But, no matter what its design, wallpapers are all about beauty. After all, that's what makes us want to surround ourselves with it. Ultimately, it is a way for us to express ourselves in the world and make our homes a reflection of who we are and what we love. Some people love abstract designs, others prefer something more informative or illustrative. Whatever you're looking for, chances are that somewhere out there is one pattern that would look just fantastic on your wall.

However, before getting started on your most-anticipated wallpaper decorating journey, here are a few more things that you probably didn't know about wallpapers that will truly fascinate you!

Fascinating Things You Didn't Know About Wallpapers

When you see a picture online, the first thing that enters your mind is wondering what is behind it. It's just a psychological fact that we can't help but see things differently and see the world in a different manner through exploring what there is to see without even being aware of it.

Wallpapers are crafted with a specific purpose and their design reflects that. They were originally used as a way to decorate rooms, but now they're utilized for many other purposes too. With this in mind, let's go back to some of the most fascinating facts about wallpapers and murals that you should know about.

  • 1.The wallpaper industry is estimated to be worth over $5 billion every year. It's a global market and there are plenty of opportunities for businesses in different parts of the world. And the fact that it's not a recession-proof business means that it continues to grow, making it one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. The growth of the industry can be seen to different factors including the increasing demand for quality wallpaper and wallcoverings, increasing consumer confidence in high-quality products, and the rapid expansion of construction projects requiring wallcoverings and wall art decorations.
  • 2.The earliest surviving wallpaper dates back to China, England, and France in the 16th century. It was made from shredded hemp and rice paper pressed into shapes similar to a lattice screen. This method of creating wallpaper was popular throughout Europe at this time, and so was the idea of decorating with it. When Europeans began traveling abroad they discovered new materials and techniques that were better suited to their needs than those used back home. One such thing was paper. It became one of the most known materials used for painting walls in houses throughout Europe during this period because it allowed people to create intricate designs without having to use paints or other natural materials like wood or leather.
  • 3.Wallpapers were used in the Victorian Era as a sign of wealth. During this period, it was not only important to have a good taste in interior design, but also to have a certain amount of money. That's why wallpapers were made of expensive materials such as silk or satin, while ordinary fabrics such as cotton were used for windows and door frames. The most common wallpaper was made of cotton fabric with watercolor paintings on it. But there were also other types of wallpapers: geometric patterns, floral, oriental motifs, and more. The wallpaper was covered with cotton gauze or silk gauze, which gave the room a warm feeling. If you compare these two materials now, you can see how much they have changed.
  • 4.Wallpapers are not only used on walls, they are also sometimes used as decors for other things and settings. Wallpapers are widely used in various parts of our lives. They can be used on tables, shelves, and in-office spaces to make them look more stylish. Some people use wallpapers as decorations for their homes while some others use them to decorate their workplaces. These wallpapers help create a colorful look in your room and make it more eye-catching than other rooms around you. Wallpaper is an art form when it comes to making it look appealing and beautiful. People all over the world love to have something new and fresh at every moment of their lives because they feel it makes their life more attractive than ever before!
  • 5.At one point, it was fashionable to cover your entire home in the paper. Paper is the most beautiful type of fabric. It’s strong, yet light and flexible. It can be folded into any shape or size or it can be a blank canvas that can be decorated with paint or decoupage in layers of color. Recently, this style has been revived with new additions like Pinterest boards. It also becomes available in many color palettes like pastels and neutrals and patterns like abstract and geometric.

So, if you are in the market for a new wallpaper to add a bit of life to your home or office walls, using some of the things you learned here might help you make a good choice. In that case, it is time to start browsing and find one that will complement your room. Whether you hang it up in your living room, bedroom, or even office, the right wallpaper can be a great enhancement. Once you have found one that works for you, it will make all the difference in your room's appearance.

Start Dressing Your Walls With Wallpapers and Wall Murals Today!

While you may know a lot about your favorite wallpaper, there are still tons of exciting things you can learn. With all that, choosing wallpaper can be a challenging task. But it's something that everyone can enjoy, and knowing more about the history of wallpapers can help you diversify your options. The next time you install a new wallpaper on your walls, expand your horizons and keep in mind the surprising history of these fascinating designs.

Wallpapers are an overlooked aspect of design, a piece of the puzzle that we take for granted approximately 99% of the time. But if you look closely enough, find the right pattern, and pair it with the right color palette, you can do wonders with wallpaper. And don't be afraid to experiment with colors or patterns outside your comfort zone! It's a lot easier to throw up a paper on the wall and see what happens than it is staring helplessly at rows upon rows of paint samples.

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