Cover Story: Check Out These Latest Contract Solutions for Walls

Sheila Kim Sheila Kim

From creating a focal point to a backdrop that blends in seamlessly with the interior architecture and furnishings, wall coverings pull double duty, offering an aesthetic or color and an added layer of protection against stains and scuffs. The Fall/Winter season has seen a number of exciting introductions in this product category, particularly for the contract market.

One of the most visually stunning products we saw was textile-giant Designtex’s Shibori collection, which is named for the ancient Japanese tie-dying technique and comprised of both upholstery fabrics and wall coverings. With regard to the latter, there are two patterns available. Shibori Flower sports a repeating, abstracted six-petal flower graphic that fades in and out. The pattern is offered in a small, medium or large scale.

Shibori Flower from Designtex

The second, Shibori Stripe Wall, recreates the effect of the nui shibori technique in which sections of cloth are gathered with a running stitch before the dying process, resulting in an intriguing dotty and blotchy line pattern. Both are 40 percent composed of latex, 30 percent post-consumer recycled cellulose, 20 percent cellulose and 10 percent polyester.

Shibori Stripe Wall from Designtex

French artist Ara Starck — related to that Starck — collaborated with Brooklyn-based studio Flavor Paper to develop the massive and dramatic Vortex. One of the most complex wallpaper designs Flavor Paper has ever produced, Vortex envelops the viewer with a room-scale painting of a swirling mass (which was originally created with oil paint and charcoal).

From left: Ara Starck; Starck’s Vortex for Flavor Paper

The artwork was digitally rendered into separate layers, with the charcoal portion appearing as a halftone. Printed onto removable adhesive-backed iridescent fabric, the covering looks different at every spot and from every angle.

Vortex from Flavor Paper

Although an upholstery series, the Elodie Blanchard Winter 2016 collection from HBF Textiles was designed with wall panel applications in mind, as well. There are six beautiful textural designs available in the series, five of which are approved for wrapped panel use.

Beetle from HBF Textiles

Beetle is a bleach-cleanable fabric with subtle sheen that recalls the jewel-tone carapace of a beetle. It comes in 11 colorways. Butterfly is a jacquard woven using 100-percent Eco-Intelligent antimony-free polyester and is available in eight colorways.

Butterfly from HBF Textiles

Cloud from HBF Textiles

Cloud is a matelassé that comes in seven colorways; it passes the ASTM E-84 for un-adhered panel wrapping application. The pebbly pattern Gravel is woven of polyester in five colorways. And Peak sports a pixelated interpretation of a computer screen saver. It’s constructed with antimony-free polyester in seven colorways.

Gravel from HBF Textiles

Peak from HBF Textiles

And finally, just this week, Wolf-Gordon unveiled its Rampart collection, an impact-resistant wall covering that’s been engineered for high-traffic commercial spaces. Reportedly as high-performing as leading rigid-sheet products, Rampart helps protect walls against scratches and dents thanks to a specially formulated finish called Surcoat yet is less costly compared to rigid sheet panels. This new product line launches officially on March 1 with five patterns in a range of color palettes.

Rampart from Wolf-Gordon

Rampart from Wolf-Gordon