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September 30th

Technical

Wallcovering: a brief introduction (which no other seller will ever tell you ...)

If you want to use wallcovering in the renovation or creation work, you don't have to be the greatest expert on the subject.


But it is necessary to be aware of some aspects that characterize this coating.

The professional you turn to (in this case the upholsterer) will take care of satisfying your every curiosity.


The reason is that it is a material with so many variations that everything you find could be true and false at the same time.

But there is some background information about the wallpaper that is always valid.

KNOWING THE WALLPAPER: THE ONLY WAY TO NOT MAKE THE CHOICE WRONG


The basic classification of wallpaper

The first classification is simple: the wallpaper can be single-layer or multi-layer.

And multi-layer wallpapers do nothing but add a coating to the materials of single-layer papers. Basically there are two layers: the support and the finish.

Multilayer papers were created to use particular materials or to obtain technical performance that allows use in certain environments.

Single-layer wallpapers


The single-layer wallpapers can be made with various decorations to be laid as wallpaper or they can act as a support for multi-layer wallpapers (of course in this case they are not decorated…).

Basically they are always present in all wallpapers in the world. For this reason it is important that you understand what are the strengths and weaknesses of the two main types:

Paper wallpaper (of cellulose);
Non-woven wallpaper (tnt);

Let's quickly see its characteristics.

Cellulose wallpaper, that is, paper wallpaper!


It is useless to explain that cellulose is a pulp, obtained from the fibers of trees, with which paper is produced.

Cellulose wallpaper is essentially paper wallpaper.

This wallpaper is certainly the cheapest you can find on the market and has long been the most popular. But it has some important critical issues.
In fact, although the production technologies are now optimized, it carries with it some atavistic defects:

  • Not very resistant

  • Not washable

  • Difficult to lay

Poor resistance is an intrinsic characteristic of paper: being a simple layer of paper it is very delicate.

This delicacy cascades over the fact that it is not washable: if it is stained it tends to absorb the stain deeply and it is not possible to remove it in any way.

The difficulty of installation is given precisely by its lightness: it tends to deform easily, creating wrinkles during installation, which must clearly be avoided in every way.


It is also important to choose and measure the glue correctly so as not to risk it penetrating excessively into the paper, leaving indelible stains ...

All these features make cellulose wallpaper not suitable for all environments: they are off-limits in damp rooms (kitchen and bathroom) and in rooms that tend to get dirty easily (children's rooms for example).

Tnt: non-woven wallpaper


Basically this wallpaper is made up of a cellulose pulp and textile fibers that are not woven.

This is where we stop referring to wallpaper as wallpaper and take the name of wallcovering.

They are not intertwined with warp and weft, glued together with resins.

Its invention dates back to the first half of the last century and brought about a small revolution in the world of upholstery, mainly linked to the application system.

Its main features are:

  • It looks very natural (looks like real fabric)

  • It has a high dimensional stability (does not deform)

  • It has an important resistance

  • It is washable

  • It is breathable

Multilayer wallpaper

 

The two single-layer wallpapers we just talked about can be decorated in infinite ways and laid directly as wallpaper, but they are also used as a support for multi-layer wallpapers.

The different types of multilayer wallpapers on the market are really many and constantly evolving. Taking into consideration the two best known types:

 

Vinyl wallpaper;
Natural fiber wallpaper.


Here are the basic characteristics of both.

 

Plastic wallpaper, or vinyl wallpaper


The support can be either of cellulose or non-woven fabric. The vinyl coating (in PVC or polyurethane) is laid over this first layer.

It is called vinyl because these plastics are based on vinyl resins.

Vinyl wallpaper is one of the most popular

 

  • It is washable

  • It is photoresist (does not fade ...)

  • It is stable and durable

 

It must be considered that it is absolutely not breathable and that the PVC coating, if not properly treated, can release toxic substances into the environment, especially if exposed to high temperatures.

The walcovering in natural fiber

 


The most used natural fibers are linen, cork, cotton, bamboo, hemp, straw, even the water lily ...

These wallpapers have advantages:

  • They are breathable

  • They offer sound insulation making the environment more muffled and calm

However, they are very expensive and practically impossible to wash.

IS A WALLCOVERING FOREVER?


If you have the walls finished with water-based paint, you know that it would be important to refresh them every 3 or 4 years at the latest.


How long can a wallpaper last?


The answer could easily be "forever". It is not uncommon to enter apartments with up to fifty years of honorable career on the shoulders and to see wallpapers still in excellent condition.

Of course not all wallpapers are the same.

The minimum shelf life of a wallpaper is around 10 years. That is, it means that for this period of time even a cheap wallpaper guarantees not to be damaged and not to be filled with dirt (always if treated well ...).

Of course, if we are talking about heavy and washable papers, this duration can extend considerably over time.

Knowing this aspect is important to understand the real economic convenience of a wallpaper covering. But the reality is that wallpaper is a choice that almost always goes beyond mere economic accounts.

WALLPAPER COVERING: BETWEEN ECONOMIC CONVENIENCE AND AESTHETIC CHOICES


Remaining only on the economic aspect, making two quick maths, we can say that wallpapering the walls of the house with wallpaper is convenient: you have a considerably higher initial cost but an even greater duration over time.
This aspect over time makes it economically successful to choose to cover the walls with wallpaper.

 

In this way, wallpaper takes on the role that is most congenial to it nowadays: a precious and beautiful piece of furniture.

Now that a general skimming has been done, Texam does not use vinyl coverings for its wallpapers, all exclusively on non-woven fabric.

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