A trend or drift in interior
Wallpapers have been well in use before the 18th century as decor for the interior. It came into prominence during the renaissance era used by the upper rich classes as an alternative for tapestries, to cover stone walls and inside heat. Initial designs were mostly iconic scenes often biblical or that of everyday life. This eventually evolved into patterns. During the 17th century, hand-painted expensive wallpapers were produced by China, which were used in palaces. Until then only England and France were the largest manufacturers of the material. The 20th century saw an emergence of patterned wallpapers, an essential wall finishing material that was soon replaced by plain painting. In present times, wallpapers have been upgraded with several qualities such as Wifi wave blocking, earthquake protection etc. The designs for wallpapers underwent a bigger upgrade due to the shift from woodblock printing and stencils to digital. Wallpaper culture in India, unlike in the west, is mainly used by homeowners and designers to create accent walls.
Wallpaper-To use or not to use
Wallpapers are available in a variety of finishes, designs, patterns etc. They are easy to work with and applications can be completed within a few hours. Wallpapers are durable having a life span of 15 years. Its peel and stick nature make it easier to remove and replace. Wallpapers can easily conceal undulated, uneven surfaces and can be used in areas of high traffic. They come in chemical-free options, making them odourless and eco-friendly compared to paints. They help set a tone and segregate spaces. Moreover, they can be used for cabinets, ceilings and not just walls.
Not to use
Traditional wallpaper is difficult to maintain and remove. Accuracy is required to well align and match patterns. The edges may separate from the wall in damp weather and cant be applied on raw concrete and textured walls. They are vulnerable to light and shadow hence exposure to sunlight can burn the material.
Types of wallpaper
1. Liner wallpaper It is made of fibreglass, also known as lining paper and is used to conceal wall defects. It can be used in itself or can be painted upon.
2. Paper Wallpaper Decorative designs are printed over paperback with a top coating to seal the print.
3. Paper backed vinyl/Vinyl Wallpaper/Solid Vinyl The base paper is coated with liquid vinyl onto which the design is printed. It is popular mainly due to its durability. Vinyl wallpapers are commonly used in kitchens and bathrooms as they are water and steam resistant.
4. Textile Wallpaper They are old versions of wallpaper which was used initially. Textile wallpapers are available in many colours and textures ranging from casuals to formals. However, they are prone to damage from moisture.
5. Bamboo Wallpaper This eco-friendly material comes with a paper base onto which bamboo is glued. However, the wallpaper is to be dealt with carefully as it is not washable. The hue varies as per roll.
6. Foil Wallpaper Foil wallpapers are created by applying thin sheets to a paper backing. It provides a shiny metallic effect to the interiors. Since they are highly reflective they highlight wall defects. The wall coverings are unique and add a tinge of contemporary essence to any room. They can brighten up small and dark spaces thus dismissing claustrophobia.
7. Flock Wallpaper They replicate the feel of velvet and textile and are used to showcase luxury. They are very delicate and are made by glueing a product of wool to fabric to get a velvety feel. They are available in 3D patterns. Other typologies of wallpaper include mylar, murals, embossed, anaglypta and cork.
Wallpaper Vs Paint
Paint Application (Source: Envato Elements)
In comparing both the materials, wallpapers are cost-effective that is worth the time whereas paints are cheaper. Wallpapers are easier and safer to install and take less time compared to paints. It has easier maintenance and is available in a plethora of varieties. Wallpapers are durable and have a span of 15 years.
Wallpapers can help you enliven your room. Using bold colours and patterns can make a statement, while subtle textured wallpapers could help in creating a pleasant spatial experience. Choosing the right wallpaper for your home plays a major role.
Explore wallpaper options on Material Depot.