I was a 70s kid. I saw the days it took for my mother to put up her flower-power wallpaper. Back then wallpaper was a must, along with bell-bottoms, Velveeta on celery sticks, and Disco. And as I learned over the years: it is sort of permanent, so you better make a solid choice. We still have wallpaper up from the 70s in my parent’s home in Canada! Back then you would have to first cover the paper with a stinking chemical glue and then carefully adhere the paper as it slowly dried to the wall. Many of us now look back at wallpaper and shirk.But things have changed. Today when we look for wallpaper, we want things that are chemical free and good for our spirit, mind, health and planet. If you live in the Middle East like I do you might want a wallpaper solution not just for a lovely earthy texture on your walls, you might want it to cover up the cracks or use it as the cherry on top of your green home.
A permanent fix for cracked plaster
The homes in the Middle East typically do not come with those flat and straight plaster boards. It is straight plaster on cinder blocks or over cement and plaster bricks. No matter how many times we replaster the walls at my home every season in Jaffa the old cement plaster house shifts and we get huge fissures running down the walls. There is nothing you can really do about that – it’s the nature of old buildings, but a good wallpaper can give you a few years of relief
from the cracks.
When I was looking for wallpaper solutions for my family room I came across this really neat coming in Germany. They make a sustainably sourced and fully compostable wallpaper called Veruso Lino that gives your walls a modern look that is homey, warm and easy to maintain.
Veruso Lino is a woven wallpaper made of plant-based materials such as linen and a wood composite, requiring little water to grow.
The company “Wallpaper from the 70s” (yes! that’s their name!) apply a new felting technique in the production so that they don’t use hazardous off-gassing chemicals in the binding process. Going all the way they use natural dyes in warm neutral hues and seeing the actual plant fibres on your wall gives you a back to nature vibe even if you are living in the middle of Istanbul or Cairo. Old-school papers that our parents used were full of plastics and impossible to recycle after they are pulled off the wall. We can even hazard to guess that the Veruso Lino line can be painted over one day, or maybe even stained over when you want to change the look.“We are a small German company and fully believe our future must be sustainable. This is also why we decided to push Lino, although financially for us it’s not an easy proposition,” the company representative tells Green Prophet.
Other so-called “natural” paper or wood wallpaper products, according to the company are not really environmentally friendly because of the industrial dyes and adhesives used in the process. Then they are simply painted with commercial wall paints and synthetic resins.
Imagine the Blue Fields of Normandy
The majority of the Lino wallpaper is made from flax. Flax fibres are one of the oldest cultivated fibres known to mankind. Grown in Normandy in Northern France, consider that before they were on your walls the flax was part of that gorgeous bright blue landscape soaking up the sun (sort of reminds me of my Babaa natural wool sheep sweater that still has flecks of Spanish countryside in it from the sheep as they grazed). Flax, like hemp, is a very good utilitarian fibre perfect for regenerative agriculture Like are anti-static, dirt-repellent and antibacterial by nature!
Why not just flax?
Just on its own though flax would never stick to the wall – or maybe it would if you used crazy glue but that’s ridiculous. The company needed to make a composite and chose viscose which sounds synthetic but which is actually a wood based product sourced from Lenzing, a company in Austria that uses FSC-harvested wood in a closed cycle approach. Other cool features of owning a natural-fibre wall: heat insulating, moisture absorbent, low flammability ratings and sound absorbent!
As for pasting, the company also sells organic wallpapering paste. Small packets to which you add water.
· 100% pure methyl cellulose, made from wood fibre
· Free of fungicides, preservatives and synthetic resins
For about $10 a pack you are good for 6 rolls of wallpaper. I already
see the new baby room coming to life. You too?