The History of Wallpaper

The History of Wallpaper

If you want a new and different aesthetic for your room, and you want more than “just paint” consider the beauty of wallpaper. Wallpaper is almost seen as clothing for your walls with endless different creative combinations found within in this versatile wall covering.

But what is it about this wallpaper that has kept it around for all these years? For some it is the elegance it offers with just a bit of work, for others it’s a form of artwork, and for others it is a way to combine all the colours in the room into one focal point.
Wallpaper was first used in China in 200 B.C. As the Chinese passed this knowledge to other cultures, the uses and methods of making paper improved with each generation and as other cultures added their own unique touches, textures and prints.

In 1841, Jean Bourdichon hand painted an unbelievable 50 rolls of paper with angels on a blue background for Louis XI of France. The paper was used to decorate his various rooms. Other people that could afford the amount, soon began hiring painters to create these hand painted paper wall coverings for them.

The oldest known pieces of European wallpaper still in existence are from 1509 and were found on the beams of the Lodge of Christ’s College in Cambridge, England.

In 1675, Jean-Michel Papillon, began making block designs in identical, repetitive patterns on rolls of paper and wallpaper as we know it today was born.

Americans began using wallpaper in 1739, when it was introduced by the Philadelphia printer, Plunket Fleeson.

In 1778, Louis XVI issued a law that required the length of a wallpaper roll be about 34 feet.

Around the turn of the 20th century wallpaper pasting machines were invented which made mass production of wall paper much easier and faster to produce.

During the 1920s nearly 400 million rolls of wallpaper were sold, resulting in the decade being dubbed the Golden Age of Wallpaper.

After WWII, wallpaper was improved with plastic resins which made it more durable, washable and stain resistant.

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