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How To Choose Your Silk Wallcovering

Thursday 12th March, 2015

Once you have decided to incorporate a silk wallcovering into your room scheme, you will discover that there are many ranges to compare, each with their own nuances and quirks. Without guidance, the decision-making process can be a little confusing, so we have put together a simple table that breaks down the main types of silk wallcovering available, along with their key attributes. We’ve also noted which brands to investigate further based on your preference and a few ideas of where the different types work.

  Key attributes     Important to know Brands to investigate:     Ideas of where to use:    
Hand-dyed, hand-woven silk    
  • The finest quality silk made completely by hand.
  • Hand-dyed using traditional techniques.
  • Easy to customise colour and match to a colour sample.    
  • The beauty of the product is the hand-finishing which can lead to subtle variations in colour that lead to a panelled effect.
  • Very delicate.
  • Not colour-fast.
  • Easily stained.
  • Your favourite room in the house!
  • As a background to opulent hand-painted  de Gournay or Fromental creations.
  • Special areas such as a master bedroom or living room.
Machine-dyed, hand-woven silk    
  • Fine quality and made by hand.
  • Luxurious finish at a more affordable price-point.
  • Increased uniformity of colour.   
  • Natural product, so you may still have a slightly panelled effect.
  • Delicate surface.
  • Easily stained.   
  • Large spaces such as stairwells.
  • A medium-traffic room such as a study, dining room, or cinema room.    
Vinyl, silk-effect wallcoverings    
  • Standard colouring.
  • Seamless look.
  • Hard-wearing.   
  • Does not offer a soft texture like genuine silk.
  • Always get samples to see the finish for yourself.   
  • High-traffic areas such as a hallway.
  • High-moisture areas such as a bathroom or pool room.
  • Households with young children.    

Installer’s tip:

“Make sure you have a thorough understanding of how the silk will look on your wall before you make your purchase as not all silk wallcoverings perform the same. If you choose a lesser-known brand then ask for references from previous clients so you can check that it looks as good when up, as it does in the sample book” - Michael Wells

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