Give new life to your home with this eco-friendly option!
Thinking about giving your home a natural, more homely look? There’s no easier way to bring the outside in than with grasscloth wallpaper. Crafted from environmentally sustainable materials such as reeds, jute, hemp, seagrass and more, grasscloth wallpaper adds impact, texture, and instant eco-friendly style. So if you’re looking for decor that brings a sense of calm to your living space, and a dash of sophistication too, grasscloth wallpaper is exactly where you’ll find it.
The history of grasscloth wallpaper
While grasscloth wallpaper may seem like a newer trend, in fact it’s one of the world’s oldest examples of interior finishes, with early grass and silk wall coverings dating back as far as 107 – 220 AD in ancient China. With grasscloth wallcoverings far cheaper to produce than silk, they quickly grew in popularity, spreading throughout the continent and eventually making their way to Europe.
While grasscloth wallpaper is today used in a more modern context, the materials and manufacturing processes used to produce it are still very much the same. Which just goes to show that sometimes the old artisan ways are the best ways.
A natural trend
With the philosophy of the 1960s and 70s one of going back to nature and embracing the simple life, it’s no surprise that grasscloth wallcoverings reached the height of their popularity over this time. As the Green Movement and ecological awareness began to gain momentum, grasscloth wallpaper created a harmonious indoor balance and was a statement against industrialism and consumerism. By embracing the beauty of nature, grasscloth wallpaper became symbolic of the decades associated with peace and love, and was a refreshing break from the norm.
Of course, times change, and grasscloth wallpaper soon saw itself on a downward trend as the 90s moved towards more high tech looks and style. But today, trends have come full circle, with a renewed focus on environmental sustainability, and on grasscloth wallcoverings once again.
How grasscloth wallpaper is made
Still made in the traditional way, the crafting of grasscloth wallpaper is a highly skilled process:
- First, grass fibres are washed, dried, and sometimes bleached and dyed as well.
- The individual blades or stems of the grass or plants used are then tied into long strands to weave into a fabric structure.
- This is then adhered to a paper or paper-like substrate to create the final product.
The joining knots of the grass blades or stems are still visible, as are the seams of each individual length of wallpaper when placed next to each other. It’s these imperfections that make grasscloth wallpaper so unique – a reminder that the imperfect has its own individual beauty as well.
Eco-friendly interior design
Given that grasscloth wallpaper is manufactured from sustainable materials such as raffia, hemp, reed, sisal and even bamboo, its impact on the environment is a positive one. Harvested from renewable natural resources and needing very little water and processing, grasscloth wallpaper is the answer to wholly natural interior design and decor choices.
More than this, the nature of grasscloth wallpaper itself contributes to a feeling of calm and comfort, turning any living space into a sanctuary. And in addition to boosting mental health, it boosts physical health as well, due to its ability to regulate humidity, provide heat and sound insulation, and create a perfectly controlled interior climate. In this way grasscloth wallpaper is more than a decor finish – it’s design for the body, mind and soul.
The characteristics of grasscloth wallpaper
So what’s most important to bear in mind, once you’ve chosen to decorate with grasscloth wallpaper?
- It’s natural and handmade. And by this we mean the seams between lengths of grasscloth wallpaper are clearly visible. Just as no two blades of grass are the same, no two rolls of grasscloth wallpaper are the same either – and therein lies their beauty. Colour variations will occur from roll to roll and even along the length of one piece. It’s the perfect example of the Japanese design aesthetic known as Wabi Sabi – a philosophy founded on simplicity, authenticity, and finding the beauty in imperfection.
- It’s a little particular. As grasscloth is an all-natural substance, it responds differently to daily living than other forms of wallpaper. It’s not suited to splash zones or areas where it could become damp, and is susceptible to damage by water and direct sunlight. Your options? To use it in rooms away from splashes and water, or even to choose a faux version instead. A little ingenuity can go a long way.
- It’s pricier than factory made wallpaper. Don’t forget it’s handmade every step of the way and is very labour intensive, from harvesting, to sorting, washing, drying, dyeing, knotting, weaving and laminating onto a wallpaper substrate. It’s an ancient craft and worth every cent if you’re looking for something special and unique.
Decorating with grasscloth wallpaper
While grasscloth wallpaper needs to be treated with care, it’s still capable of making a stunning visual impact in your living space, with many design benefits to recommend it:
- It’s colourful. Don’t think of grasscloth wallpaper in muted, neutral shades alone. Depending on the actual fibres and dyes used, it can come in a variety of colour options too, from striking mustard, ginger, plum, greens and blues to grey and charcoal as well. Sometimes its even combined with metallic substrates and finishes to create a more modern and glamorous feel.
- It’s textured. As a natural substance, grasscloth comes with its own unique texture – ideal for adding interest and individuality. What’s more, its fibres create patterns all their own, adding an eye-catching structural element to your decor.
- It’s versatile. Use lighter colours to open up smaller rooms, or darker colours to create intimacy in larger spaces. Decorate all four walls for a consistent look, or create a statement wall for a more dramatic effect – the choice is yours.
- It’s impactful. When used creatively, grasscloth wallpaper can combine with your collectibles, becoming an accessory all its own. Use it in conjunction with objet, mirrors or other items on display, and create beautiful areas of visual appeal throughout your home.
- It’s luxurious. If you’re looking for the ultimate luxury in natural wallcoverings, then the striking range of real cork wallpapers, may be for you. Combined with metallic accents, they are the Ferrari of natural wallcoverings.
Whether you choose to lean into the natural aspect with complementary decor materials like stone, bamboo and plants, or contrast with metal, velvet and glamour all round, grasscloth wallpaper is endlessly adaptable. Browse our range online or visit us in-store for one-on-one guidance on either authentic grasscloth wallpaper or our many vinyl faux-grass alternatives, and transform your home with the beauty of nature today.
All grasscloth and natural wallpaper, and above images, supplied by the prestigious Dutch brand Eijffinger.