Brief History of Wallpaper

What first started as a cheap substitute for wall paneling and tapestries, later gained its popularity amongst the higher classes and the lower classes alike. The rich used more extravagant materials such as brocades, velvets and even embossed leather while the regular used materials were hand-painted paper that the public used to decorate their huts and shops.

Although it was called wallpaper, the paper however wasn’t attached directly to the walls, but first it was pasted on linen and the linen was attached to the wall with copper tacks. The designs varied in colors and appearance and the wealthy French commissioned artists to produce customized wallpaper which in turn was imported from China.



In the dawn of the industrial revolutions in England, designers were encouraged to produce very complex designs that became popular in the Victorian era andprinting machines for wallpaper were made for more time and content efficiency. Wallpaper was now applied directly to plaster walls and as production increased, prices dropped, and more and more people were able to buy it for their homes.

The main themes that were popular during that era were mainly ornate and of decorative nature, aiming to brighten up a room and give it more of an aesthetic appeal. Although the higher class were refraining from using wallpaper due to the recent mass production of poor quality paper, some noble artists like William Morris, still produced high-quality textile and wallpaper designs that became fairly popular and accessible.


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