Common Terms (Glossary)

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 


Abstract: A pattern or design not based on natural forms.

Acrylic: A family of plastic resins which can be used in making synthetic fibers, for surface coating or as pigment binder.

Acrylic Primer: This primer forms a more water resistant film than the latex primer. It bonds to most difficult surfaces, promotes strippability and dries with a translucent film.

Acoustical wallcoverings: are non-woven and woven textiles designed to reduce reflective sound in meeting rooms, offices, theaters, auditoriums, restaurants, corridors and elevator lobbies.

These products are predominately made of man-made polyester and olefin fibers/yarns. They receive a sound absorption rating known as NRC - Noise Reduction Coefficient. This rating indicates the amount of sound absorbed by the wallcovering. Higher ratings can be achieved by installing backerboards or cork behind these wallcoverings. The higher the NRC number, the more noise absorption.

They are field installed on vertical surfaces or used on pre-wrapped panels, ceilings and operable walls. Installation is performed similar to synthetic textiles.

Advancing Colors: Warm colors such as red, yellow and orange; and dark colors which make surfaces appear closer or larger.

All-over Design: Usually floral, foliage or scroll patterns which cover an entire paper without any particular feature standing out.

American Single Roll: A single roll of wallcovering that comes in a wide variety of lengths and widths ranging from 18 to 36 inches in width and from four to eight yards in length. Regardless of length or width, each single roll contains 34 to 36 square feet of wallcovering.

Analogous Colors: Also known as related colors, they are those that are adjacent to each other on the color wheel.

Appliqué: A cut-out design or ornament in fabric or other material that is applied on top of another, larger surface. In wallcovering, cut-outs applied to plain, textured or figured backgrounds. 

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Batik: A non-directional geometric type design with an East Indian influence. The background has a tie-dyed appearance. The word itself refers to a method of dyeing designs on cloth by coating with removable wax the parts not to be dyed.

Bleeding: In printing, a spreading of pigment beyond the design outline or the appearance of one color through another.

Block Printing: The process of producing a pattern on a wallcovering by means of wood blocks into which the design is cut. For the most par it has been replaced by silk screening.

Blooming: A hazy or foggy appearance due to the incompatibility of son of the compounds in the coating or plastic sheeting.

Bolt: A roll of fabric or wallcovering of a given length.

Booking: When applying paste onto wallcoverings, the procedure of folding pasted surfaces together for easier handling.

Border: Last, but not least, we have an example of some decorative borders that are commonly used throughout all working environments. Borders can be applied as a standalone pattern or can be installed over existing or new wallcovering surfaces. Borders come in a variety of widths to fit almost any situation and décor.

These boards are a sampling of the variety of wallcoverings offered in the market place today.

A narrow strip of wallcovering often used just under the ceiling or around a window or door frame.

Butt Seam: Most common type of wallcovering seam in which the edge of two strips of wallcovering are tightly butted together without any overlay or spacing between the strips. 

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Ceiling Papers: Plain, geometric, trellis or foliage patterns of wallpaper which look good on a ceiling from all directions.

Center of Interest: The principal focal point in a room. In a wallcovering design, the dominant motif. It is usually hung at eye level in the central area of the room to establish a starting point for hanging the re of the wallcovering.

Chairrail: The topmost molding of a dado which is placed on the wall at the height of a chair back. Complementary wallcovering patterns are often used above and below a chairrail. A wallcovering border is often used as a chairrail.

Coatings: A thin protective surface layer, usually of vinyl, which is applied to wallcoverings to provide washability and durability.

Crocking: Coloring that rubs off and causes discoloration.

Collage: A technique in which pictorial images or patterns and pieces of colored, textured material are superimposed onto each other.

Color Change: Putting different colors in place of those used on the previous run when manufacturing wallcoverings. The pattern does not change.

Color Run: The amount of role of a particular design produced of a single color combination. Subsequent runs of that same design and colorway may be slightly different. (This is why it is important for purchasers to retain the run number in case additional rollage is needed.)

Color Wheel: A circular arrangement of colors that expresses their relationships according to a particular color theory.

Commercial: Product manufactured in quality and width to serve high traffic areas.

Companion Wallcoverings: A set of wallcoverings designed and colored to be used together in the same or adjoining areas.

Complementary Colors: Colors that lie directly opposite each other on the color wheel and are, therefore, as unlike as they can be. Examples include red and green or blue and orange.

Contract Wallcoverings: Wallcoverings produced for commercial use and normally available in 48 or 54 inch widths.

Cool Colors: Blue, green and violet, or any color to which blue has been added.

Cork and Cork Veneer: This type of wallcoverings has a variegated texture with no definite pattern or design. Cork Veneer is shaved from cork planks or blocks and laminated to a substrate that may be colored or plain.

Recommended areas of use: Cork wallcoverings are generally used in focal walls and unique office environments, etc., where a rich, warm effect is desired.

Cornice: A horizontal molding or combination of moldings which finish the top of a wall.

Correlated: Wallcoverings and fabrics designed to be used together. They are known as correlates or companions.

Cove Ceiling: A ceiling which is rounded where it meets the wall. 

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Dado Paper: Wallcovering which covers the lower part of the wall, or dado, and ending at the chairrail height.

Digital Printing/Wallcovering: Used mostly for borders, and murals, digital printing is defined as one of several non-impact technologies where the image or pattern is created, manipulated and finalized by electronic systems and printed by a computer controlled printer.

Double Cut Seam: Type of seam used in situations where it is necessary to overlap two strips of wallcovering and yet avoid a raised ridge. One example would be when a border is being used as a chairrail with coordinated wallcoverings above and below the border/wallcovering. A straightedge is placed at the center of the overlap and, with a razor knife or blade; a cut is made through both layers. The top cutoff section is removed and then the bottom cutoff portion is removed leaving a tightly butted seam.

Drop Ceiling: A form of decoration in which the ceiling paper is brought down onto the walls of a room and divided from the walls by a border or molding. This gives the illusion of a lower ceiling.

Dry Strip: Most solid vinyls, polyofin/synthetic textiles and some other type of wallcoverings are tear-resistant and dry strippable. Always pull at a 45-degree angle or less to make sure you put the minimum amount of stress on the wall surface. 

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Embossing: A raised effect created by impressing a design into wallcovering using either pressure or heat.

Engraving: Machine priming of wallcovering with etched-out rollers to obtain subtle and fine effects.

Etching: A process in which a copper shell is slowly revolved in an acid bath.

Euro-roll: See Metric Roll.

Existing wallcoverings: Make sure the wallcovering is firmly bonded to the wall and has no lifting seams or loose spots. You can check for poor adhesion by rubbing your hand over the surface of the wallcovering and listening for a "crackling” sound. 

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Fabric Backed Vinyl Solid Vinyl: Wallcovering that has a woven substrate of cloth/ scrim or non-woven substrate synthetics. In either case, the substrate is laminated or calendared to solid vinyl decorative surface.

Width: 20 ½ to 54 inches.

Vinyl wallpapering products can be developed in different embossed textures as demonstrated in these two boards.

"I found a pattern that is 3,000 years old.”

Vinyl wallcovering products today offer a variety of protected coatings which have been developed by several manufactures. One product, which is generic to the wallcovering industry, is called Tedlar.

Tedlar is a poly vinyl fluoride film developed by DuPoint which is factory laminated to the wallcovering, offering stain resistant qualities for those tough-to-clean commercial areas mostly found in hospitals, nursing homes and hospitality environments.

Fiberglass Wallcovering: This wallcovering is composed of fiberglass yarns made from all natural, non-toxic materials of sand, lime and clay. It is woven into various textures and patterns and treated with a natural starch binder for dimensional stability during hanging. It is available in various textures and patterns ranging from a fine linen weave to heavier textures and patterns that cover rough surface preparation. Fiberglass wallcovering is designed to be painted after it is instilled allowing virtually endless color and finish selections. The finer weaves also serve as a breathable substrate for printing borders and sidewalls. In addition, it has inherent qualities of durability and fire and mildew resistance.

Recommended areas of use: Fiberglass wallcovering has been accepted and specified worldwide for more than 30 years and has just been added to the AIA Masterspec for wallcovering. Applications of this product are accepted in all facets of the commercial market, ranging from hotels to hospitals, and from educational facilities to ship and boat interiors. Because of the nature of the material and the high performance features of all the patterns when combined with paint, it is not typically classified as Type I, II or III. However, the performance features fall into the II and III categories (the weight does not determine the performance). Fiberglass wallcoverings have an inherently high tear and tensible strength.

Width: 39 inches.

Flexographic: A printing process developed in England around 1900 which uses rubber cylinders which are easily repaired.

Flock: Wallcoverings made by shaking finely chopped fibers over a pattern printed in varnish or other sticky material to give the appearance of velvet or damask.

Type: Wallcovering made by a machine that shakes very fine cotton, silk, rayon or nylon fibers from a hopper over paper that has been printed with a slow drying paint. The fibers adhere to the paint, and once they dry, form a textured raised pattern that resembles cut damask, silk, or suede. Sometimes high voltage electrodes are used to create a static charge to apply the cut fibers to the wallpaper and make them stand up straight.

Width: 27 inches.

Recommended areas of use: Flocks are used in most areas of home or business. Flock fibers may be cleaned with a mild detergent and should not be abrasive. Use caution in high traffic areas because the flock eventually mats or flattens cause a shiny surface.

Focal Point: An area of a room with major visual interest such as a fireplace.

Foil: Wallcovering constructed by laminating a thin sheet of aluminum foil onto a substrate of paper or scrim. They occasionally have a polyester sheet between the paper backing and the foil to prevent water in the adhesive from actually contacting the foil. Foils will not burn, but are fairly easy to tear.

Width: Generally 27 inches.

Recommended areas of use: Same as for mylar. 

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Grass Cloth: A hand-made product made by gluing woven native grasses onto a paper backing.

Type: Grasscloth is a handcrafted product is usually made from a native vine (arrowroot) of Korea. These vines are cut and soaked in local streams until the bark can be removed in very thin ribbon strips. The strips are allowed to dry and graded according to thickness and quality. When the bark is dried it looks like dried grass. The bark strips are then tied together and rolled into hanks (skeins of grass) and sold to weavers. The weavers use hand-made looms which are strung vertically with cotton threads. This is called wrap threading.

The grass in then placed in a wooden shuttle that is manually moved back and forth horizontally. This produces weft. Once the grass and cotton are woven together, it is called netting. After the netting is made it is laminated to a paper backing or substrate, then dyed to a specific color. It is trimmed and packaged and is truly a natural hand-made product. Grasscloth has a natural shading effect which is the beauty of it.

Width: Generally 36 inches.

Recommended areas of use: Real grasscloth should be used only in areas where no moisture or grease is present. It cannot be scrubbed or washed because the natural grass easily stains. A soft brush and vacuum cleaner should be used. Grasscloth is excellent for dens, living rooms, staircases, offices and bedrooms.

It adds a rich warm effect to a room and hides a multitude of defects dur to poor wall surfaces because of its rugged natural effect. Imitation grasscloth is sometimes used in high traffic areas such as bathrooms or kitchens. These imitations are usually solid vinyl with woven substrates. 

Ground: Raw stock onto which a coat of pigment has been applied before the top colors are put on in wallcovering manufacturing.

Ground Coat: The coat of pigment applied to raw stock before the top colors are put on in wallcovering manufacturing. The background color. 

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Hand-Printed Murals: This is a simulated photographic wallpaper enlarged to be placed on a room-sized wall. It is usually divided into quarter panels for purposes of the installation. This type of mural portrays a nature scene, mountains, sea shores, forests, woodlands, etc.

Width: Various.

Recommended areas of use: Most photo murals are used on focal walls of living rooms, office rooms, bedrooms, etc., to enhance an outdoor scene. They normally add depth to a room by making it appear larger. Usually, the murals are not very washable; therefore, a very mild detergent or pure water is used to clean them. Over-washing can result in the ink coloring coming off.

Header Strip: A strip of wallcovering that is allocated to be hung above a door or window.

Heavy Duty Clay: They are starch-based adhesives with clay added for extra tack and stronger "suction” bonds. They range in solids from 35 to 55 percent. The higher the solid, the better the tack for heavy wallcoverings or wallcoverings with surface coatings that tends to make them curl at the seams.

Heavy duty clear: Recommended for hanging vinyls up to 36-ounces while providing an excellent past-the-wall adhesive for fiberglass, textiles and acoustical wallcoverings. They have excellent tack and open time and are ideal for use in paste machines. Most are strippable with strippable wallcoverings.

Hemp: Wallcovering that is made from fibers of the hemp plant. Hemp wallcovering is a coarse fiber structure and closely resembles real grasscloth, with the exception of a much finer weave. As in grasscloth, it contains irregularities in color and pattern and also the seams will be dominant.

Width: Mostly 36 inches.

Recommended areas of use: Same as for grasscloth.

Hot Spots: Shiny spots on wallcovering caused by chemical reaction.

Hue: The pure state of any color; the name by which a color is called. 

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Incandescent: A common form of artificial light in which a filament contained in a vacuum and heated to brightness by an electric current It can affect the appearance of colors often giving a yellowish cast.

Intensity: The strength of a color. 

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Jacquard Design:

  • Jacquard - Woven fabrics manufactured by using the Jacquard attachment on the loom. This attachment provides versatility in designs and permits individual control of each of the warp yarns. Thus, fabrics of almost any type or complexity can be made. Brocade and damask are types of jacquard woven fabrics.
  • Jacquard Knit -A weft double knit fabric in which a Jacquard type of mechanism is used. This device individually controls needles or small groups of needles, and allows very complex and highly patterned knits to be created.

Jute Weave: Wallcovering that is made by using jute, a strong coarse fiber that is used in making burlap. This is a natural plant product form India and surrounding countries. Both the warp and weft of this product may be made from jute, or it can be combined with another type of natural fibered yarn. It is laminated to a paper backing much like grasscloth.

Width: Mostly 36 inches.

Recommended areas of use: Same as for grasscloth. 

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Lamination: The process of building up thin layers of materials and bonding them together as one product under heat and pressure with an adhesive added.

Latex/Vinyl Primer: This is the most economical primer and bonds to most difficult surfaces and also promotes strippability on porous surfaces. It dries with a translucent film and is not designed to be tinted or hide patterns or wall joints.

Leather/Suede Wallcoverings: A leather and leather-like finished fabric with a napped surface resembling the leather made from the skin of a goat. They are sometimes very difficult and delicate to install because of their tendency to stain.

If adhesive is allowed to contract the finished surface, it may permanently stain or ruin. Extreme precautions are used during the installation due to this factor; therefore, the slip sheeting (masking) technique should be employed.

Width: Generally 36 inches.

Recommended areas of use: Suede and leathers are considered exotic materials, meaning unusual in effect or appearance. It can create a dramatic impact on a room. Suedes and other exotic wallcoverings, such as pasted leaves on wallpaper, can be used in rooms to serve as heat and sound insulators.

Light to medium weight clear: Recommended for hanging light to medium weight vinyls (up to 16 ounces), paper-backed vinyls and other light weight wallcoverings. They are in the medium range of solids, tack and open time and ideal for the hanging of residential wallcoverings by do-it-yourselfers.

Line: Merchandise belonging to one group or series offered by a manufacturer. In wallcovering, name collections appearing periodically every yet or two.

Lineal Yard: A lengthwise measure of a good.

Lining Paper: Plain material, often paper, usually applied horizontal and used under wallcoverings to assure a smoother surface and better adhesion. 

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Matching: Hanging strips of wallcovering so that the design will be in the correct relation to the preceding strips. The types of match are random, straight and drop.

Matte Finish: A dull finish.

Methods for Removal or Wallcoverings: The successful removal of the wallcovering without damaging the wall surface depends upon proper surface preparation. Over bare drywall, a strippable, fabric-backed wallcovering must be used along with a strippable adhesive.

Molding: An ornamental strip of wood or plaster that protrudes from a ceiling or wall surface.

Monochromatic: Of one color, sometimes in different light-to-dark values.

Mural: A wall decoration with a pictorial design that continues over two or more strips of wallcovering and is intended to cover part or most of a wall without repeat. Also called scenics.

Muted Colors: Any colors with brightness that has been lessened or moderated, often by their complementary colors.

Mylar: Mylar is actually a trademark of DuPoint for a particular brand of polyester film. This film is applied to the decorative print of wallpapers which may have a paper, woven or non-woven, substrate for backing. Mylar wallpapers are often mistaken for foil wallpapers and are very similar in nature. Mylar is actually a polyester film that is metallized sheeting. Mylar will not tear very easily, but will burn. Foils will tear easily, but will not burn.

Width: Generally 27 inches.

Recommended areas of use: Mylars are relatively easy to care for as far as washability. They should be washed with a mild dishwashing liquid and warm water; therefore, as soon as it is washed, it should be dried with a soft cloth. Mylars and foils show every imperfection in a wall surface; therefore, extreme care should be taken to prepare the walls. Sometimes a loner paper is required to smooth out rough places Extreme caution should also be used during the instillation, especially when cutting out for electrical outlets and switches, because the metallized film is a very efficient conductor of electricity. 

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Neutral colors: Beiges, whites, grays and browns. Colors which coordinate well with most other colors and which have been especially popular for the last decade or so.

New Drywall: Make sure the drywall is free of dust, dire and mildew. Joints and spackled areas should be thoroughly cured and sanded smooth. Best results are obtained when the moisture content of the drywall is at or less then 5 percent.

New Plaster: Allow at least 60 to 90 days for the plaster to completely cure. Use a moisture meter to make sure the residual moisture does not exceed 5.5 percent. Best results will be obtained is a pigmented, water-based wallcovering primer is used to decrease the porosity of the plaster and form a good surface to bond to.

Non-Woven: fabric backings in different grades offer improved wallcovering printing techniques while maintaining the tear strength qualities necessary for commercial installations. Demonstrated also are several grades of ploy cotton woven backings, most commonly known as scrim, osnaburg and drill, which complement products and their usage areas. Scrim is mostly used in the light construction and usage areas while osnaburg is used in medium to heavy usage areas such as corridors. One backing not shown, but commonly used, is a sprayed acrylic backing used mostly on fabric wallcoverings to allow for stability and improved hanging qualities. We will note that with some wall treatment products, a backing in not necessary if the product is stable enough to hang on its own. I would now like to walk through some of the types of wallcoverings in the market place. Many vary in widths from 20 1/2 –inch to 54-inch.

Normal Value: The value of any color in its pure, unmixed state. 

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Off Grades: Not first quality goods.

Oil-based primer: There area also some oil-based primers available that are specifically designed for use under wallcoverings. They create a very tight, water resistant seal. Because of this, a water-based wallcovering primer is recommended to assure a tight bond. Oil/alkyd-based paints and shellacs are not recommended to be used under wallcoverings.

They form a non-porous surface that creates bonding problems for a water-based adhesive. This can lead to bubbling problems during installation and eventual bond failure. If they are already on the wall, they should be primed with a water-based primer before hanging.

Overlapping Seam: A method of hanging wallcovering. 

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Paper backings: Used on paper backed vinyls, vinyl coated papers and specialty products.

Paper Backed Vinyl/Solid Sheet Vinyl: Wallcoverings that has a paper (PULP) substrate laminated to a solid vinyl decorative surface.

Width: 20 ½ to 54 inches.

Recommended areas of use: This type of wallcovering is very durable since the decorative surface is a solid sheet of vinyl. It is classified as scrubbable and peelable. Solid sheet vinyls can be used in most all areas of home or business since it resists moisture and is stain and grease resistant; however, they will not withstand hard physical abuse. Now we will look at some general descriptions of vinyl wallcoverings. There are three general categories of fabric-backed vinyl wallcovering: Type I, Type II and Type III.

Paper Weave:Wallcovering that is usually from Japan and very similar to real grasscloth. The weave, however, is actually paper that has been cut in thin strips and then twisted and spun into lengths of yarns (hanks). A manufacturer makes this paper yarn into a weave and then it is laminated to a paper backing. These should not be confused or classified with the Korean grasscloth, reedcloths or rushcloths.

Recommended areas of use: Same as for grasscloth.

Pasted Leaves:This is an exotic type of wallpaper that is sometimes very useful to portray an outdoor scenic atmosphere. Its composition is actually "real” dry leaves that are laminated to a substrate. Very delicate care must be taken during the installation to prevent damage to the surface, especially on outside corners.

Recommended areas of use: Same as for grasscloth and suede cloth.

Peelable: A wallcovering that can be dry peeled from the wall leaving only the substrate on the wall. Note important differences between "peelable" and "strippable" wallcoverings.

Most paper-backed vinyls, including some pre-pasteds, are peelable. The top layer can be removed, leaving a paper layer on the wall. This paper layer can be removed by soaking with a wallpaper remover or left on the wall, primes and hung over if it is soundly bounded to the wall.

Pick Off: A condition in which coating sticks to the shell, which is usually caused by an air bubble in the coating or by tacky color pulling off some of the coating.

Pigmented acrylic primer: This primer bonds to most difficult surfaces and also promotes strippability. It hides drywall joints, patterns, etc. and can be tinted with "universal tints” to match wallcoverings for gaps at seams.

Plastic-coated Wallpaper: Wallpaper which feature a thick plastic coating.

Plumb Bob/Line: A weighted line used to produce a vertical line to assure that each strip is hung perfectly straight.

Polymer: A compound formed by the reaction of simple molecules. Poly-Vinyl Chloride: Commonly referred to as PVC.

Polyolefin/Synthetic Textile Wallcoverings:These woven and non-woven textile looking wallcoverings were developed to give the aesthetic appearance of a natural textile while adding an increased value in stain and abrasion resistance found in vinyl wallcoverings. These products are comprised of polyolefin yarns, which are olefin fibers made from polymers or copolymers of propylene.

Polypropylene fibers are produced by melt spinning the molten polymer (pellets), which are then stretched into the fiber and woven into a sellable product, much like a natural fabric is weaved. There are also a multitude of synthetic fibers such as polyester, rayon and nylon, to name a few.

Recommended areas of use: These products, unlike natural textiles, are installed in high traffic areas due to their improved cleaning and abrasion characteristics.

The board shown is known as Dobby Woven Design. Dobby weaving is the ability to control the harnesses, permitting the weaving of geometric figures.

Poured Concrete: The concrete must be thoroughly cured and maintained at a temperature of 60 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit during and after installation. It must be free from any outside moisture source or hydrostatic pressure. It is best to seal the concrete with a waterproof sealer before applying a wallcovering primer and hanging the wallcovering.

Prepasted: Wallcovering that has had adhesive applied to the back of it by the manufacturer. Dipping a strip in water before hanging activates the adhesive.

Pre-pasted activators: Recommended for hanging pre-pasted wallcoverings only. They work with the adhesive on the back of the wallcovering and add extra tack to hold down seams and give extra slip for ease of positioning. They also contain preservatives for added protection against mold and mildew and can be used in past machines.

Pretrimmed: Rolls of wallcovering from which the selvage has been trimmed at the factory.

Previously painted surfaces: Test to make sure the paint is firmly bonded to the wall. Use a razor blade or knife and cut a shallow "X” in the paint layer. Wrap some masking tape around your finger and pick at "X’d” area with the sticky side. If the paint can be lifted from the wall surface, it will have to be removed. Another test is to hold a clean, wet sponge or cloth on the painted surface and rub back and forth to see if there is any color transfer. Again, oil/alkyd and glossy paints should be primed with a water-based wallcovering primer to assure a good bond.

Primary Colors: The three colors, red, blue and yellow, which cannot be produced by mixing any other pigments together.

Primer: Special primer paints designed for use under wallcoverings, often used in place of sizing materials.

Production Run: The production of one pattern in one combination of colors from the beginning to end on one machine. 

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Railroading: The horizontal application of a wallcovering.

Raw Stock: Paper in large reels. Also, the substrates used today, before lamination.

Ready-to-use cellulose: Recommended for hanging delicate papers, strings, grasscloths, etc. where bleed-through or staining is a concern. They are very low in solids and strength and should not be used to hang vinyls.

Receding Colors: Cool colors that tend to make surfaces appear farther away or smaller.

Reedcloth: A handcrafted wallcovering in which every individual reed is inserted into the cotton warp threads of a hand-made loom. The reeds vary in thickness and colors. This is the natural effect. The production is very similar to that of grasscloth.

Width: Mostly 36 inches.

Recommended areas of use: Same as for grasscloth.

Relief: Making a design prominent by raising it or by cutting away the surface or background of the design.

Repeat: The distance from the center of one motif or pattern to the center of the next.

Rigid Vinyl Acrylic Wallcoverings: This product was developed to be used in areas where there is a potential for high impact concerns such as hospital corridors, high traffic areas in commercial buildings and the hospitality environment where movable carts are used.

This product generally has no backing and is installed with a special contract adhesive. Specialty sundries such as divider bars and top caps are often used in the installation of this product.

Width: Mostly 48 inches.

Roll Change: Putting a new roll on in place of a roll which has been run.

Room Lot: A sale unit consisting of enough rolls of a pattern for a given room.

Run: The number of times an individual wallcovering is made. Colors, and other features can be slightly different from run to run.

Rushcloth:This is a wallcovering very similar to real grasscloth and is made basically the same way, except that rush, a juncaceous plant, is used instead of the arrowroot vine. The rush is used for the weft of the netting. Rushcloth contains natural shading effect, such as that of the grasscloth.

Width: Mostly 36 inches.

Recommended areas of use: Same as for grasscloth. 

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Screen Print: A printing process, also called hand-screening, for producing wall coverings involving stretching silk tightly onto frames, w a separate screen used for each color.

Scrubbable: Any wallcovering that can be safely washed with a sponge and detergent while still on the wall.

Seams: Area where two wallcoverings are joined.

Secondary Colors: These result from combining two of the primary colors.

Selvage: Either edge of a roll of wallcovering carrying no design, intended to protect the design.

Shade: A color produced by adding black to a pigment.

Shading: An effect that can sometimes appear along the seams of no patterned or textured wallcoverings due to heavier ink coverage at one edge than the other during printing.

Sidewall: Main wall area to be covered with wallcovering.

Silkscreen/ Hand-screen Printed: These two slides represent both hand and screen print designs both on woven and non-woven backings.

Type: Screen printed wallcoverings are printed either totally by hand, partly by hand and partly by machine, or entirely by machine. A silk screen is used during the printing process to develop unique design techniques not usually available through other manufacturing processes.

Width: Varies.

Recommended areas of use: Low traffic areas.

Single Roll: The standard commercial length of wallcovering.

Size: A sealer used to prepare the wall before the wallcovering is applied

Stain-Resistant Wallcovering: A wallcovering on which a coat of plastic or vinyl has been added to make the surface mostly stain-resistant.

Stencil: A method of applying a design by brushing ink or paint through a cut-out surface.

Stock: Different qualities and grades of paper or the man-made materials. Also, the inventory on hand.

Straight Edge: A 6 foot or 7 foot ruler used by a paperhanger to trim the selvage off of wallcovering.

String Wallcovering: Wallcoverings that have very fine vertical threads laminated to a paper type substrate. These come in a variety of colors and, unlike grasscloth, the seams are not dominant. The vertical threading effect butts together and creates a random match.

Width: Generally 27 to 54 inches.

Recommended areas of use: Same as for grasscloth. 

Strip: A length of wallcovering, cut to fit the height of the wall.

Strippable: Wallcovering that can be dry-stripped from the wall leaving a minimum of paste or adhesive residue and without damage to the wall's surface.

Substrate: The backing of a wallcovering. It becomes laminated to the design layer.

Surface Printing: Conventional machine-printing in which the raised or routed design on the roller is transferred to the ground.

Swatch: A sample cutting of wallcovering or fabric. 

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Tacky Acrylic Primer: This is an acrylic primer that dried tacky and is recommended for difficult surfaces. It dries clear and does not promote strippability.

Texture: The tactile surface quality of wallcovering or fabric, perceived through touch.

Textile Wallcovering: Fabric wallcoverings are usually laminated to a backing to enhance dimensional stability and to prevent the adhesive from coming through to the surface. These backings are usually acrylic or paper.

Width: Generally 54 inches.

Textiles are manufactured in a variety of widths and are constructed of natural fibers. Natural textiles can be finely designed or coarse in texture depending on the desired look.

Recommended areas of use: The application for natural textiles is usually in low traffic areas desiring the natural yarn look.

Tint: A color produced when a pigment is mixed with white.

Tonal Value: The relative strength of color.

Tone: Color that has been toned down by adding its complement or gray.

Top Colors: The colors forming the design against the ground color.

Total Weight: The combined weight of both backing and coating, measured in ounces per square yard of wallcovering.

Two-Tones: Wallcoverings that show only two-toned values of one color. 

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Undercloth (Paintable): This product can be used in areas where cracked or rough wall surfaces are present and a smooth paintable surface is desired. It is usually cloth backed with no embossing on the surface.

Width: 27 to 54 inches.


Type: Liner paper is a blank stock-type wallcovering. It comes in different weights such as light, medium, and heavy. It can be plain paper stock or a spun-type material.

Widths: 20 ½, 27 and 54 inches.

Recommended areas of use: Liner can be used on almost any wall surfaces, such as plaster, sheetrock (drywall), paneling and cinder block. Liner also can be used under mylar and foils to get a smoother surface. The walls must be properly prepared to accept the liner by applying the correct primer/sealer first. Liners are recommended also for use under non-breathable wallcoverings in order to absorb excess moisture. 

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Value: Lightness or darkness of a color.

Vinyl: Man-made material used in the manufacturing of wallcoverings.

Vinyl Coating: Either the liquid vinyl or flexible film applied to a wallcovering backing material. It gives a wallcovering strength, durability and scrubbability.

Vinyl Coated Paper: Wallpaper that has a paper substrate on which the decorative surface has been sprayed or coated with an acrylic type vinyl or polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

Width: 20 ½ inches.

Recommended areas of use: Sprayed vinyl/vinyl coated wallpapers are classified as scrubbable and strippable, and are suitable in most any area. These papers are better resistance to grease and moisture than plain paper, and are satisfactory for use in bathrooms and kitchen areas, particularly in residential homes. They do not resist excessive, prolonged exposure to grease, moisture or abuse, and are therefore recommended for limited commercial use.

Vinyl Laminate: Vinyl laminated to either paper or fabric.

Vinyl over Vinyl: These adhesives are specifically designed to bond to vinyl. They have synthetic polymers added for bond strength and starch and other additives for easier application. They can be used to hang borders or full sheets or fabric/paper-backed vinyl over exciting vinyl. Extra care needs to be taken to clean these adhesives off while they are wet because of their added bond strength. 

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Wainscot: Wood paneling used on interior walls, especially that which reaches partially up the walls. Wallcovering is often used below a chairrail as a substitute.

Wallpaper and porous wallcoverings: The easiest method for removal is to score the surface with a tool such as a "Paper Tiger” and then soak with a wallpaper remover and scrape off the wall. Wallpaper remover can be applied by spraying or sponge. Soaking times vary.

Wallcovering Adhesives: Wallcovering adhesives are specifically designed to hang wallcoverings form lightweight grasscloths and delicate papers to Type III vinyls that are 36 ounces and heavier. They contain preservatives to protect the adhesive in the can and mold/mildecides to protect the dried film under non-porous wallcoverings such as vinyls. They vary in tack percent solids, open time (working time), strippability and ease of application.

Wallcovering Primers: Wallcoverings primers are specifically designed for use in preparing walls for the installation of wallcoverings. They contain mold/mildewcide packages that protect the film under non-porous wallcoverings such as vinyls.

Paint primers do not always contain mold/mildewcides. Wallcovering primers are designed to bond to difficult surfaces and form a film that responds to starch-based wallcovering adhesives.

Wall Fabric: A durable surface on a backing used to cover walls.

Wall Preparation: The preliminary cleaning of walls to prepare them for wallcovering. Also can include patching cracks/holes and applying a primer-sealer.

Wall Primer: The preparatory coat of primer given to walls before hanging wallcoverings.

Walls where old wallcovering has been removed: Old adhesives should be removed by sanding or washing. It can act as a food source for mold/mildew and makes the wall surface uneven and difficult to bond to. If the wall shows any signs of existing mold/mildew, it should be washed with a dilute household bleach solution and thoroughly rinsed and allowed to dry.

Warm Colors: Red, yellow or orange, or any color to which yellow has been added.

Washable: A wallcovering that can be cleaned with a sponge, mild soap and water.

Wood Veneer Wallcoverings: Most wood veneer wallcoverings are laminated to fabric backing. They are usually made in sheets 18 to 24 inches wide and provided in any length up to 144 inches long.

Due to characteristics relative to environmental and grain matching, wood veneers are used mostly in the office/conference room environment along with some other specialty areas, such as hanging around large columns.

These products are applied with a special water based adhesive and demand delicate installation techniques.

Woven Fabric: Fabrics composed of two sets of yarns. One set of yarns, the warp, runs along the length of the fabric. The other set of yarns, the fill or weft, is perpendicular to the warp. Woven fabrics are held together by weaving the warp and the fill yarns over and under each other. 

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