Hessian, Felt, Anaglypta and Novamura Wall Coverings
Hessian can be bought either specially prepared for hanging on walls or as ordinary furnishing hessian.
Prepared hessian is backed, usually with paper, latex or foam, and is easier to handle than furnishing hessian. It is sold in 915 mm (36 in) widths in a wide range of colours as well as for painting.
Furnishing hessian is quite suitable for hanging on walls. It is sold in 915 mm and 1270 mm (50 in) widths and is about half the price of backed hessian. It will not obscure sharp differences in colour on the wall, so first hang coloured lining paper on patchy walls.
Furnishing hessian can be painted, preferably with emulsion paint.
Before you hang hessian, the wall must be clean, so strip off any existing wallpaper. Prepare the wall as for wallpaper.
Start at a corner and measure off a distance 25 mm (1 in) less than the width of the hessian. Using a plumb-line, chalk a vertical line on the wall at this point. Measure the height of the wall, add 50 mm (2 in) for shrinkage in furnishing hessian and cut the strip to length.
The manufacturers of prepared hessian recommend suitableand how to apply them: hang furnishing hessian with heavy-duty wallpaper paste applied to the wall and evened out with a roller.
Prepared hessian is hung and butt-joined in the same way as wallpaper, but a different procedure is needed for a neat join in furnishing hessian.
Centre the piece of hessian, with one edge on the chalk line and a 25 mm overlap on the other three edges.
Starting from the top of the wall, pat the hessian down gently with your hand and work towards the bottom. Smooth the fabric down finally with a clean paint roller, working from the centre.
Hang other strips to overlap the previous strip by about 25 mm.
Do not do anything about the joins until all the hessian is up and thehas dried — there is certain to be some shrinkage. If you get some on the surface of the material, wipe it off with a cloth before it has a chance to dry.
When hanging furnishing hessian, do not distort the weave too much.
To butt-join the pieces, you need a sharp knife and a straight-edge. Cut through both thicknesses at the overlap, peel back the edges and remove the waste.
Apply more paste to the wall under the flaps and press the edges into place.
Decorative felt is available in more than 60 colours. It is sold in 1829 mm (72 in) wide rolls by department stores. The problem in hanging felt is its weight.
You can overcome this by: (a) dividing the felt into narrower strips (this makes it more manageable, but it also increases the number of joins); or (b) supporting it on a batten while you hang it.
To support felt, cut a strip the height of the wall, with a 50 mm allowance for shrinkage, and roll it on to a batten. Apply the adhesive (eg. Clam 143) to the wall.
Get somebody to hold the roll, or support it on steps, so that the fabric is parallel to the wall. Press the felt to the wall from the bottom up, and smooth it with a paint roller. Allow 25 mm overlaps and cut the joins as for hessian, then tease the edges to hide the join.
Relief Wall Coverings
Relief wall coverings are moulded from thick paper and are usually painted after being hung. They are mostly sold in rolls, but some with more elaborate designs are sold in panels.
Always use a good quality adhesive to hang relief coverings, and allow it to soak in for the time recommended by the manufacturer. Smooth the covering down carefully to avoid damaging the relief.
Anaglypta is a low-relief emboss paper that needs five minutes for the adhesive to soak in before hanging. It is best finished with matt or silk emulsion paint.
Supaglypta is a high-relief emboss covering that requires soaking with adhesive for about 15 minutes before being hung. When dry, it can be covered with a matt or silk finish emulsion paint.
Novamura is made from polyethylene, and the method of hanging differs from that of most other wall coverings in that the wall, not the covering, is pasted. A special adhesive is supplied for its application.
Paste the wall to a width a little more than the width of the material. Then hang the covering straight from the roll without cutting it into lengths. Since it is light in weight, the roll is easily managed. Butt the joints in the same way as when hanging other coverings.
Vinyl must be hung with a paste containing a fungicide to prevent mould growing under the paper. Prepare the wall in the same way as for normal papers. If the vinyl is not ready-pasted, apply paste to the back of it and hang it immediately: it does not need to be left to soak.
If the vinyl is ready-pasted, roll up the cut lengths with the patterned side outwards and immerse them, one at a time, in water in the trough provided. Leave each roll in the water for the time recommended — usually about a minute.