The notable history of wall coverings

The notable history of wall coverings

At what time in history did we start covering our walls? And where lies the origin of wall textiles? In this blog, we would like to take a closer look at the history of our beautiful product.

Wall tapestry as an early version of wall textiles

In Europe, the history of wall textiles roughly began in the Middle Ages. The idea came from the Arabic regions. The Arabs had been using carpets to decorate their walls for centuries. The oriental origin of our tapestries was evident: they were filled with beautiful Arabic motifs, which we can still admire on the Persian carpets we know today.

A few centuries onwards, the trends were already changing. By the end of the sixteenth century, it was no longer the oriental tapestries that would be seen in the most fashionable households. Insead the walls were often decorated with a gold-leather wallpaper printed with woodcuts.

The printing of fabrics was banned by the French king Louis XIV in the seventeenth century. With this law he wanted to protect the French silk industry. This meant that wall textiles were virtually non-existent back then. But that doesn't mean it stopped people from covering their walls. After all, printing on paper was not a problem. Thus, the production of wallpaper took off, and in the mid-eighteenth century it even grew into a large-scale industry, with mass production in mainly English and French factories.

Mass production of wallpaper

In the early days, expensive types of wallpaper were hand-painted, and produced and delivered only when pre-ordered. In 1835, the endless rolls of wallpaper came on the market. These were not yet quite the rolls we can find in DIY stores today, but they were an early version of them. These rolls were glued to rag paper that was stretched over slats. It was not yet an option to glue the wallpaper on the wall as we most often do today, because the walls were not yet as tightly plastered as they are these days. With these mass-produced wallpaper rolls, wallpaper did reach the general public.

The hype of this type of wallpaper lasted only half a century. At the end of the nineteenth century, wallpaper became less and less popular, and by the end of the twentieth century you would hardly come across it anymore. But in recent years wallpaper has been gaining in popularity again. Nowadays we would like to give our walls that extra bit of style.

The big comeback of wall textiles

In the luxury segment, wall textiles are also making a big comeback. And DWC was there from the very beginning.

The story of DWC began with Boudewijns father, Sjouke Vogel, who had been an entrepreneur in various segments of the construction industry for a long time. His work took him to the most luxurious country houses, where the walls were still filled with enormous hunting scenes. This way, he got to know the tastes and likes of the customers from the high-end segment better and better, which eventually gave him an advantage in the development of a successful luxury product. When the opportunity arose, he set up a factory with textile products for the interior design industry. Boudewijn would later start a new branch for wall textiles, under the name Dutch Walltextile Company.

DWC looks toward the past as well as the future

Now, many years later, we have grown into an international brand, distributing our walltextiles all over the world. In recent years we have developed all kinds of new lines with innovative materials.

The very first fabric we developed into a walltextile was velvet. These are our collections Kingdom, Caribou, Boudoir, Tartan and later Pebble, Suave and Rainforest. Not much later we complemented our collection with a beautiful jacquard named Dune, a velvet with a woven motif of gold or copper thread. The beauty of velvet is that you can experience a color change when you run your hand over the fabric. This gives the wall a luxurious yet playful look.

Some of our fabrics also have a clear link to our history. In the past, walls in wealthy interiors were finished with silk fabrics or painted linen. DWC also has linen and fabrics made of 100 percent silk, such as Musa, Fusion and Silk. They are the perfect fabrics for creating a space with a classic, residential look. Thus, our fabrics allow for a trip back in time, evoking the feeling of the richness of the past.

But at DWC, we are definitely not stuck in the past. We are always busy with new developments and innovation. Sustainability is also a topic that remains high on the agenda. This year we will also be launching a completely eco-friendly line. So although at DWC we will always look at history and our predecessors with an oblique eye, we are also focused on the future. We hope to continue the story of wall textiles for many years to come, and to spread our beautiful brand even further around the world in the process.

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