News From Little Greene
New Wallpaper Collection – ‘Painted Papers’
On 23rd January we will be launching our new wallpaper collection ‘Painted Papers’, a definitive compendium of striped wallpapers produced using traditional printing methods.
More than ‘just plain stripes’, all eleven designs in ‘Painted Papers’ have been reworked from historic patterns sourced from several archives, including those at English Heritage and Manchester’s Whitworth Art Gallery. Faithful to the period in which they were designed, and with many of the colourways also boasting an authentic historic provenance, the wallpapers are nonetheless highly relevant for the 21st Century interior.
Each wallpaper has been produced using traditional surface-printing methods, which originally would have applied paint rather than ink, the production of these papers reflects very closely that used in previous centuries: it also gives them their delightfully tactile feel and slightly textured appearance.
Managing Director, David Mottershead expands on the collection: “In reviving these historic designs we have tried to create a collection to serve homes of all ages and decorative styles. There are also offerings from the early and mid-twentieth centuries, in colourways to suit both the timeless and the cutting-edge interior. As with our previous wallpaper collections, we have judiciously selected paint colours to coordinate or complement each design and tone, to aid selection and encourage the end user to be adventurous.”
‘Painted Papers’ will be launched at Maison et Object on 23 January 2015. The collection will be available nationally and internationally through our network of distributors, via telephone (0845 880 5855) and online (www.littlegreene.com).
Read more about each wallpaper design below:
BROAD STRIPE (c.1825)
A classic ‘Roman’ or Regency proportioned stripe, originally produced in the early 19th Century using the ‘open trough’ method. Using this technique, stripes were created by bands of paint seeping through holes or slots in the bottom of a wooden trough onto the surface of the paper as it was pulled beneath. Striped wallpapers manufactured in this way are characterised by a brushed finish which was later superseded by a flatter print achieved with 19th Century rollers, as can be seen in these papers. The grand scale of this par-ticular stripe is tempered by the restricted use of colour – in each case the stripe sits on a softer ground of the same hue, creating a wallpaper that brings a relaxed structure to a room, without being too formal.
CARLISLE STREET (c.1890)
The original wallpaper that inspired this design, found at a property in Carlisle Street in Soho, London, is actually a much more complex pattern than the ‘Painted Papers’ design that has been extracted from it. By removing the solid stripes and extraneous leaf trail, what remains is a wallpaper that achieves all-over pattern but, at the same time, highlights an elegant stripe.
CAVENDISH STRIPE (c.1965)
In keeping with its sister wallpaper ‘Marlborough’ from Little Greene’s London Wallpapers II collection, the age of the paper on which this design is based is perhaps misleading in terms of its provenance. Dated at 1965, this particular fragment emerged during English Heritage’s restoration work at Marlborough House on Pall Mall, London, though this paper itself was undoubtedly based on a much earlier original. In Little Greene’s in-terpretation, the motif – which was in fact a flock – has been completely removed to leave a cleaner, more versatile stripe. In keeping with authentic methods of production, the background strié effect is achieved using a horsehair brush, with the stripe and gilded edges printed on top.
COLONIAL STRIPE (c.1840)
This design is an accurate reproduction of one of several wallpapers found in a private residence in St James Place, London, dating from around 1840. Its ornate, decorative detail gives it a subtle artisan quality, and the original, richly-coloured blue and red colourway, faithfully reproduced for this collection, is very typical of the Regency era.
ELEPHANT STRIPE (c.1850)
Taking the exact proportion and structural quality of Broad Stripe, each band in this more complex version comprises 42 ‘pin stripes’, creating a sharper, more contemporary look that appeals at first glance and offers even more on closer inspection. Given its finer proportions, this design would have been virtually impossible to print before the arrival of the surface print roller in around 1840.
OMBRÉ PLAIN / OMBRÉ STRIPE (c.1956)
Very much a 20th century design, this is a 1950’s English pattern found at the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester. A band of fine, white stripes over flat grounds, it is actually the space between stripes that creates the subtle optical movement. The more complex striped versions contain an additional three ground colours each, and the ‘plain’ versions are produced in matching colourways to coordinate specifically with the different elements of the stripe, offering a highly flexible range of papers to be used in combination in traditional and contemporary homes alike.
PAINT SPOT (c.1830)
This design is a faithful reproduction of an historic French wallpaper. Perhaps surprisingly, the original hails from 1830 and was printed in a bold combination of yellow and pink. Particular attention is paid to the paint reticulation (also known as the seaweed effect) evident within the printed spot element, in giving orientation – there is a definite right and wrong way up for this paper to be hung!
TAILOR STRIPE (c.1968)
Another 20th Century stripe, each of the papers in this design contains a judicious balance of six tightly packed colours, giving every one an overall theme and several opportunities for picking out painted walls and trim. It has been inspired by the way designers would ‘tag’ colours together when referencing interior design schemes, and as a consequence is inherently close to the way colours were handled by the fashion industry too.
TENTED STRIPE (c.1845)
Originally produced as a design on fabric, the larger scale production of this classic 19th Century stripe was a natural development from the early ‘open trough’ printing method referred to in ‘Broad Stripe’. Its name is taken from the Regency fashion of hanging fabrics in a room to create a ‘tented’ effect. The proportion of the elements within these stripes was typically fairly consistent, but the scale on which they were reproduced (and used) varied considerably. Having been shown extensively in its own right as a stripe, the design was subsequently popularised as a background to a range of larger overprinted designs, including French damasks.
Faithfully reproduced, but increased in scale, from an eye-catching piece in the English Heritage archive, this historical panorama of the capital was published by London Illustrated News in 1851. The hand-drawn, hand-painted scene depicts the buildings and landscape along the river Thames at that time: it has subsequently been re-mastered to include a repeating section, meaning it can be now hung as a continuing frieze. The original would have been shown at cornice height, but for rooms of a more ‘conventional’ scale, it has been created to sit comfortably at dado or skirting height as well.