How luxury wallpaper is made at Farrow & Ball in England

  • Farrow & Ball is a British manufacturer of paints and wallpapers that was founded in 1946.
  • Its wallpapers are 100% recyclable, made with responsibly sourced paper.
  • Take a look inside Farrow & Ball’s factory to see how it makes its luxury wallpaper.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.

Following is a transcript of the video.

Coloured, neutral, patterned, modern, vintage … wallpaper seems to never get out of fashion. But have you ever wondered how it’s made?

This is how it’s done at Farrow & Ball’s factory in Dorset, England.

Farrow & Ball is a British manufacturer of paints and wallpapers that was founded in 1946.

The company started making hand-crafted high-end wallpaper 25 years ago, by using its own richly pigmented paint and artisanal printing methods.

Its wallpapers are 100% recyclable, made with responsibly sourced paper as well as eco-friendly water-based paint.

The making process begins with high-quality sustainable rolls of paper. This paper is brushed with a first layer of colour that will be the base tint of the wallpaper. Most of the colours are drawn from Farrow & Ball’s own paint collections, while others are specially developed as wallpaper background colours.

Once coated with a base layer, the paper is left to dry. The rolls are then stored by colour and prepared for the printing process.

Designs and patterns are developed in-house by Farrow & Ball and can be applied to the coloured paper through three different printing methods.

The first one is flatbed printing, which is used for larger wallpaper designs and longer pattern repeats. This method is inspired by 18th-century techniques. Firstly, the designs are carved onto printing blocks. Then the edge surface of the block is covered in paint with a roller. This block is pressed onto the paper to print the pattern and then pulled away. And the paper is left to dry.

Then there’s the roller-block-printing method. This method is used for more intricate designs with fine details. The chosen pattern is hand-carved onto a cylinder, which is then coated with paint using a foam roller. Once the cylinder is covered in paint, it is rolled onto the paper to print the pattern.

The third and last method is trough printing. This method is used to create striped and dragged wallpaper. To begin, the paint is poured into the trough through foam pads, which are hand cut by the craftsmen, and then ends up onto the paper. The paper is oven-dried, and the process is repeated in a second hue to create a tactile stripe pattern.

Once dried, the wallpaper is cut into smaller rolls, wrapped in brown paper and shipped to customers into boxes.

Farrow & Ball has long been a pioneer in decorations and interior design. The company was established straight after the Second World War by John Farrow, a chemist, and Richard Ball, an engineer who had survived capture as a prisoner of war. The pair soon went on to supply paint for The Ford Motor Company, Raleigh Bicycles, the Admiralty and the War Office. Then in the sixties, they sold the company to English actor Norman Chappell. Farrow & Ball is now owned by Tom Helme and Martin Ephison, and it has showrooms in London, Toronto, Paris and New York

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