Grasscloth brings an intense level of natural beauty and depth that few other home decor elements can rival. You could say it’s a specialty item that packs a lot of punch!
What separates grasscloth from other types of wallpaper is the complex framework of all-natural materials. The most common materials are arrowroot, raw jute, sisal, cork, hemp burlap, and reed, and java/triangle grass.
These materials are usually woven together through a complicated process using thin cotton threads and sea grass strands, both of which are fastened to a lightweight backing, usually rice paper. This makes the material very lightweight and delicate, which is why it is not suggested that you use it in a high traffic area.
It’s no surprise as to why the interest in real grasscloth has risen over the past year. The long and tedious process of hand-weaving natural plant fibers together produces an unforgettable product, unmatched in the grassy smell and earthy texture it produces. It is quickly becoming the high end go to for many different designers.
You Cannot Match Grasscloth Wallpaper
No two strands of grass are the exact same color, therefore, it is impossible to match one piece of grasscloth to another. Imperfections and slight variations of color are inherent in natural materials, but that is part of what makes the finished product so beautiful. Don’t expect the materials that grasscloth to be uniform in color, but don’t worry, it is not designed to be matched.
Grasscloth Is Packaged Differently Than Standard Wallpaper
Grasscloth has different dimensions that standard wallpaper does because the sheets are wider. A double roll of grasscloth measures 36 inches wide by 24 feet long. Most other wall coverings have standard double roll width sizes of 27 inches and 21 inches respectively.
Grasscloth Does Not Come With A Prepasted Backing
Grasscloth is not prepasted like most standard wallcoverings that are manufactured today. You will need to purchase and manually apply specialty wallpaper glue to get it to stick to your walls. We strongly recommend that you prime your walls FIRST before you start begin to hang your wallpaper. Shellac or any wallpaper primer do just fine. Do this step in insure that it will hang for quite some time.
Hanging Grasscloth Requires Different Process From Hanging Standard Wallpaper
Hanging wallpaper and hanging grasscloth requires two different techniques. Mistakes can be costly, considering that natural grasscloth wallpaper can cost anywhere between $50-$250 per single roll. It’s for this reason that we tell our customers to always hire an experienced paperhanger to hang their grasscloth if they don’t know what they’re doing.
There are two main components you need to be aware of when installing natural grasscloth:
- Grasscloth expands when it gets wet.
Years back, when our company hung wallpaper, our installers were always instructed to soak the grasscloth in water so that it would expand before they hung it. If they didn’t, condensation from the wall and glue would cause air bubbles to pop up all over the wall. When this happens, whole sheets of grasscloth need to be smoothed out and re-adjusted, thereby increasing the chance of a tear in the paper or a sloppy installation.
- You can’t wipe off glue from the face of the grasscloth without leaving a visible mark.
Getting a little glue on the front of most standard wallpaper isn’t a big deal. All of you have to do is wipe it off and continue with the installation. The same cannot be said of grasscloth. It is not pre-pasted, and you do not want any glue to accidentally get on the face of your paper. Despite most attempts to wipe off the glue, there will be a visible mark from the residue.
The solution to this problem is not to wet the grasscloth itself. Rather, put the adhesive on the wall first. Then, slowly angle your pre-soaked grasscloth in the position you want it to be. We have found this significantly lessons the chance of any adhesive getting on the front of your grasscloth.
Grasscloth Can Be Used In Most Modern Bathrooms
If you have a bathroom that doesn’t remove humidity well, then we wouldn’t advise installing grasscloth in it. You should also think twice about hanging grasscloth next to the toilet bowl. The material that grasscloth is made from is extremely absorbent and cannot be cleaned with a regular bathroom cleaner. Stains from late night sicknesses and flying water will be very difficult to get out. That being said, most modern homes come with fans and vents in the bathrooms specifically designed to remove excess moisture from area before it’s ever allowed to build up and cause any peeling.
Faux Grasscloth Is Not The Same As Natural Grasscloth But Comes Close
Natural grasscloth is some of the most lovely type of wallcoverings you can hang on your walls. However, we must admit that it’s more expensive to buy, harder to install, and more complicated to maintain. Fortunately, there are vinyl faux patterns on the market for people who want the look of real grasscloth but not the hassle with it.
What’s more, wallpaper manufacturers are getting better at making these “fakes” seem more real and lifelike every single year. Sometimes you can even find a better print that cuts down on that non-matching look, if that is a sticking point for you. The realism that modern printers are able to now achieve would have been unheard of 10-15 years ago.
Some of the faux grasscloth patterns from certain designer collections, like Candice Olson’s Luxury Finishes, are made so detailed with the design, color, and texture, that you can barely tell it’s not authentic unless you get really close and touch it. We would highly recommend faux grasscloth for high traffic areas, homes with small children, or for bathrooms with showers that don’t have exhaust fans.
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