Wallpaper is a wonderfully versatile wall covering and, while many decorative elements may move in and out of fashion, wallpaper has been used for hundreds of years with tremendous success in buildings that range from the Palace of Versailles outside Paris to hospitals, offices and hotels all over the world.

The idea that all wallpapers are made of paper – after all it’s called wall “paper” – is actually incorrect as these coverings are often made from materials other than paper. At Versailles, you will find velvet, gold leaf and embossed papers – Versailles was built in 1682 and the wallpaper is still there, almost 350 years later.

A specialist South African wallpaper company, Wall Design, says there are a number of different types of wallpaper available on the market today, and adds that the term “type” does not refer to the design, but rather to the quality of the product itself, the backing material used and the way it is manufactured.

Like so many products available on the market, the durability of wallpapers depends on:
•    Quality.
•    Backing.
•    Weight.
•    Construction.

In this context, the backing is particularly important because different materials can be used to provide different qualities such as woven / non-woven fabrics or paper.

Essentially, the stronger the backing, the more durable the wallpaper as it is the backing that prevents the covering from ripping, tearing or curling.

Wall Design says an immediate indication of the durability of wallpaper is its weight. The curious thing about the wallpaper market is that the weight of the wallpaper itself does not have to be disclosed on the label. This makes it difficult for architects, interior designers or the layman to assess the different qualities of available products.

The weight of wallpaper is described in terms of the grams per square metre. Wall Design says, for instance, that in high traffic areas – such as a hotel corridor – a wallpaper of at least 450g/m2 on a woven fabric backing should be used as this will provide a lifespan of at least eight to ten years.

Another really interesting development in the wallpaper field is the Novelio CleanAir range, which allows for the sustained removal of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as formaldehyde used in laminated flooring, furniture or in some paints.

The patented formulation for Novelio CleanAir was developed by Saint-Goban Recherche and is based on woven glass-fibre wallpaper that is painted in any chosen colour.

The formulation works as a scavenger to trap formaldehyde and will last for more than ten years, through several layers of paint. Once captured, neither the formaldehyde nor the wallpaper is dangerous to the health of anyone who comes into contact with it.

The Novelio CleanAir range has been tested in both laboratory and normal conditions, and the results show at least 70% formaldehyde absorption with zero rejection.

Wall Design is the exclusive importer and distributor of the Novelio CleanAir range that provides:
•    The Novelio coating that increases flexibility & speeds up installation.
•    Coverage of all cracks and strengthening of the substrate.
•    Several different designs in a range of textures.
•    Certified to Oeko-Tex Standard 100 as containing no harmful substances.

According to Wall Design, the range and flexibility of the different types of wallpaper offer excellent functionality and versatility for interior designers, architects and consumers.

Wall Design
Tel: (011) 704 9780
Website: www.WallDesign.co.za