Look! Fabric on Walls

Look! Fabric on Walls

Janel Laban
Jan 7, 2009

(Here is the second post from Monika, who is trying out for a post on the AT:SF team. Her first post can be found right here. Comments are welcome!)

The idea of fabric on a wall instead of paint or wall paper is not a new one, but something in this picture from a 1975 decorating book caught our attention. Random blooms were cut away and outlined, unveiling the painted wall underneath. We are fans of wild patterns, but it can often feel overpowering, especially in a small space. Cutting away parts of the pattern helps to avoid this problem by making it feel more sporadic.

Here are a few common sense pointers to guide you with picking the right kind of fabric:

  • The best ones are thick enough so that no glue will be showing through to the front. Backed fabrics will work the best when applying glue but keep in mind that they have tendencies to to shrink more (paper backing more than woven) so you will need to get more of it.

  • Liquid fabric starch can be used in place of glue. It is great for renters as it is easily removable and the fabric can be washed and re-used for another project.

  • Other things to look for is resistance to staining, mildew (especially when used in bathrooms), fading, shrinking and fire-rating. You can also ask to have your material stain-guarded when you purchase it. This might be a good idea, especially when applied in heavy traffic areas of the home.

    One last detail is the trim. For a finished look you will want to hide the edges. Molding or a decorative ribbon will get the job done.

    Here are some resources for your fabric shopping in the Bay Area:

  • Britex Fabrics in SF
  • Discount Fabrics in SF and Berkeley
  • Mendel's Far Out Fabrics and Art in SF
  • Fabrix in SF
  • Stich Lounge in SF
  • Fabric Outlet in SF (109 Mission St., between 17th St and Clarion Aly)
  • Peapod Fabrics in SF
  • WhizBang Fabrics in SF
  • Sal Beressi Fabrics Company in SF (1504 Bryant St. between 15th St and Alameda St.)
  • Beverly's Fabrics & Crafts in Daily City
  • Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics in Berkeley


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