Decorating Tips for Hanging Wallcoverings
Fabric wallcoverings are sometimes sold by the roll and sometimes by the metre. Sizes vary but typical widths are:
paper-backed hessian: 889mm (35in), 914mm (36in)
silk: 762mm (31 in)
grasscloth: 914mm (36in)
tweed: 685mm (27in)
fine wool: 690mm (27in)
open-weave wool: 750mm (30 in)
bouclé: 690mm (27in)
suede: 700mm (28in)
cork: 762mm (31in), 530mm (21in).
AVOID HEAVY-WEAR AREAS
Care and cleaning can be a problem with many fabric wallcoverings so they’re best confined to areas where they won’t get too much wear or be subject to grubby fingers or heating stains.
Always cross-line the walls with lining paper first.
• if the wallcovering is very heavy, use a fairly thick lining paper
• for open-weave fabric, paint the paper first in the same colour as the fabric.
The method of hanging depends on the type of wallcovering (check the manufacturer’s instructions):
• paper-backed hessians and some other paper-backed fabrics can be hung like ordinary wallpaper. You paste the backing and, when hanging, work down from the top of the wall
• unbacked hessian and other speciality wallcoverings are hung by the paste-thewall technique and, when hanging, you may in some cases have to work from the bottom of the wall up.
• to avoid shading, some wallcoverings should be ‘reverse hung’. Each alternate length is reversed, as it is cut from the roll. And hung in the opposite direction from the previous length.
Fabric wallcoverings should be hung with butt joins. This is straightforward where the edges are straight, but if they are ragged you will have to allow an overlap that measures at least 25mm (1 in) wide between lengths during hanging and trim later.
REMOVE EXCESS ADHESIVE
Anywhich gets onto the front of the fabric should be wiped off at once. With delicate finishes (silk, cork, grasscloth) paste must not get onto the front or it will be spoiled. So with these types:
• paste only one length at a time
• wipe the pasting table to remove surplusafter pasting each length
• remove instantly any adhesive oozing out at seams during hanging.
To smooth down most fabric wallcoverings use a foam or felt-covered roller over the entire area:
• with very coarsely-woven fabrics, simply press firmly with your hand so the material is not squashed and adhesive is not squeezed up through the weave
• never use a seam roller on a heavy texture as this flattens the joins and makes them look more obvious.
Felt is sold in extra-wide widths and is very heavy. To support a length when hanging it, bottom upwards, on a pasted wall:
• roll the length round a long batten with the wrong side facing out
• support the roll between the tops of two stepladders.
Use the adhesive recommended by the manufacturer (some make their own brand).