Saturday, 16 June 2012

flocked wallpaper

Flocked Wallpaper Biography
The status of Flock ed Wallpaper has undergone a dramatic transformation over the space of three centuries. Once a luxury product used by the wealthy in the grandest apartments, it has declined into cliché, most familiar (at least in Britain) as nothing more than a commonplace decoration in Indian restaurants where it is intended to evoke an atmosphere of Colonial grandeur.
Portion of wallpaper with rococo floral design in flock on a diapered ground, about 1760. Museum no. E.1961-1934 (click image for larger version)
Flock paper was originally invented to imitate cut-velvet hangings. Flock - powdered wool, a waste product of the woollen cloth industry - had been applied to cloth in the early 17th century. It is not clear when the first flock papers were produced, but trade cards and advertisements show that flock papers were available by the late 17th century. Edward Butling’s card of around 1690 declares that he ‘Maketh and Selleth all sorts of Hangings for Rooms’, including ‘Flock-work’, at his premises in Southwark. The advertisement for Abraham Price’s Blue Paper Warehouse, Aldermanbury, around 1715, shows panels at the extreme left and right with Baroque-style patterns which are almost certainly flocked. However, some of the earliest flocks seem to have employed quite simple linear designs; a green flock of oak stems and lattice from Welwick House, South Lynn, Norfolk, around 1715-20, is typical of this light style.
By the 1730s many flock papers that were direct imitations of damask or velvet began to appear. The range of patterns available seems to have been relatively limited, and one particularly magnificent design has been found in several locations. This was a crimson flock on a deep pink ground, which has faded to yellowish buff on most surviving examples. This pattern was hung in the offices of His Majesty’s Privy Council, Whitehall, London, around 1735; it was also used in the Queen’s Drawing Room in Hampton Court Palace, and in several town and country houses, including Christchurch Mansion, Ipswich, and Clandon Park, Surrey, also in the 1730s. The same pattern in green flock was hung around 1745 in the Picture Gallery at Temple Newsam, Leeds. The design itself has been traced back to an Italian brocade and a damask curtain, both in the Department of Textiles and Dress at the V&A.
The flock papers proved extremely durable - certainly more so than the textile hangings they imitated - and so although they were relatively expensive in comparison to other contemporary wallpapers, they were nevertheless good value for money. The flock papers had an advantage over textile wall coverings in that the turpentine in the adhesive used for fixing the flock kept them free from moths. In the 1740s a green cut velvet for the Drawing Room at Longford Castle, Wiltshire, cost 25s a yard, and a green silk damask for the Gallery 12s. A flock paper supplied to the Duke of Bedford in 1754 cost only 4s. Even allowing for the fact that there were several qualities of flock available, and that 4s probably represented the cheaper end of the scale, a handsome, richly coloured, long-lasting flock paper compared favourably with the alternatives.
Flocked Wallpaper

Flocked Wallpaper

Flocked Wallpaper

Flocked Wallpaper

Flocked Wallpaper

Flocked Wallpaper

Flocked Wallpaper

Flocked Wallpaper

Flocked Wallpaper
Flock Wallpaper
New And Old Velvet Flocked Wallpaper

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