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Wallpaper in the early Victorian Era was very popular. Usually featuring over embellished designs and print on print . Early period wallpapers were hand-designed and hand-printed. Many were imitations of costly fabrics, drapery, architectural mouldings and cornices and often gave the impression of marble or wood grained surfaces. Borders were also used, such as imitations of fabric swags or tassels. Prosperity and status were associated with wall coverings and bare rooms were considered to be in poor taste.

Later, high quality wallpapers were made with manually operated presses and this made them too expensive for most people to afford. However, with the coming of the industrial revolution, the mass production of wallpapers made them available to the working classes for the first time. When the ‘cheap and cheerful’ paper became available for the lower class, it became unpopular with the upper classes, who eventually considered wallpaper as ‘gaudy.’ Many designers began to move away from wallpaper design by the end of the Victorian era. During this time, the cabbage rose print became very popular……which I am sure many of you will remember this must-have pattern during the late 1980’s to early 1990’s!

During the late Victorian Era during the Arts and Crafts movement, interpretations of nature were common, many symbolizing Art Nouveau.

It would be impossible to show samples of all of the wallpaper used during this period, but I had to add a few!

Wallpaper in Downtown Abbey

Wallpaper in Downton Abbey

With the popularity of the Downton Abbey series, I wonder if we will see more wallpaper being re-introduced to homes?

William Morris Wallpaper

William Morris Wallpaper

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