Wallpapers are usually made with ink, but not ours. We use our own richly pigmented paint and traditional block and trough printing methods to give a uniquely tactile finish, creating a seamless connection between paint and paper.
From delicate florals and damasks to bold geometrics and stripes, our designs are inspired by archives of timeless wallpapers, fabrics, and patterns from around the world. When it comes to inspiration, no stone is left unturned by our creative team.
Once designed, our small team of skilled craftsmen set to work bringing each wallpaper to life. It’s a lengthy and intricate process, but this only makes the first roll of wallpaper all the more rewarding.
We start by painting our ground colour and then choose one of three traditional printing methods to create our richly textured patterns. We finish by coating with a specially formulated glaze to ensure that the quality remains long after it’s left our hands. It means that not only is our wallpaper wonderfully tactile, it’s tough as well.
Uncover a little more about our ground paper colours and the traditional printing methods we use below.
OUR GROUND PAPER
We begin with rolls of high quality paper and brush on a coat of Farrow & Ball paint, creating the first layer of texture.
Most of our ground colours are drawn from our timeless collection of 132 paints, while others are specially developed as a wallpaper background colour. Once painted, the papers are passed through a warm drying oven and stowed carefully in rolls until the pattern is applied.
1. FLAT BED BLOCK PRINTING
For our larger wallpaper designs and longer pattern repeats such as our Lotus, we use a traditional flat bed block printing method. Inspired by 18th century techniques, each block is carefully engraved by hand.
Our paint is then applied to the beautifully etched surface through a trough and roller and the block is pressed onto the paper, just like a stamp.
The block is then slowly raised and the paper moved forward. The next impression must be exactly aligned to create our seamless patterns.
2. Roller Block Printing
Designs such as our Samphire are incredibly intricate, and achieving such accuracy and attention to detail during printing is a real art. Roller block printing is perfect for the job, and allows our creative team to introduce ever more sophisticated designs.
Firstly, the design is hand engraved onto a cylinder and carefully coated with a foam roller passing through a paint filled trough. The roller block is then rolled onto the paper to print the pattern.
Similar to our flat bed block prints, the unique texture of this method is achieved by the way the roller releases the paint as it peels off the paper.
3. Trough Printing Method
For our striped and dragged papers we use the trough printing method. It’s a meticulous process that requires absolute attention to detail and a great deal of patience.
It’s important here that the texture of the paint is just right for a smooth and even flow through the trough pads and onto the paper, creating our signature tactile finish.
Our paint flows into the trough, through foam pads, and onto the paper to create the first layer. The paper is then oven dried and ready for the second stage.
For a stripe, the second hue is poured through the next trough and onto individual foam pads. Our dedicated craftsmen carefully cut these pads by hand, with each needing to be replaced as often as every five rolls to keep up with our high levels of accuracy and quality.