What Is Wallpaper Made From?

Paper: The Original Wallpaper

Firstly, let me introduce you to the ever-charming and classic wallpaper option: traditional wallpaper. This fine creation is typically made from a combination of cellulose or wood fibers, bound together with adhesive; it’s actually a form of paper. These fibers provide a strong foundation for the patterns and colors that so beautifully grace our walls, creating a visual masterpiece that delights the senses.

Vinyl: The Modern Answer

For those seeking a more modern approach, we have the esteemed vinyl wallpaper. If you want to be very technical, we'll distinguish wallpaper from wallcoverings, which are made from non-paper materials, are generally more durable and are well suited for a wider variety of environments. They can be more demanding to install, best for professionals.

Vinyl wallcoverings boast a layer of vinyl, which not only adds high durability and moisture resistance, but also allows for easy cleaning and maintenance. Vinyl wallpaper has become the go-to choice for high-traffic areas or spaces that require a touch of practicality without compromising on style, including interiors for hospitality, health care and other commercial spaces.  Vinyl is made with polyvinyl chloride, which may off-gas some volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) when first installed. 

Desert Poppy Paper’s primary line is vinyl wallpaper with non-woven fabric backing, and water based inks for the patterns.

TPO:  The New Environmental Standard

The latest material innovation is TPO, the acronym for thermoplastic olefin.  TPO wall covering is a blend of different materials comprising of a thermoplastic (such as polypropylene), an elastomer (rubber) and a filler.  It is the most significant advancement in wall covering technology in more than 50 years. Environmentally safe, TPO is a PVC-free wall covering free of plasticisers, chlorine, formaldehyde, heavy metals, and halogenated fire retardants. Furthermore, it is printed using only water-based inks and coatings.  TPO has unique strength and performance properties and its production requires one third less energy than PVC film. By not using PVC, the potential dangers in manufacturing chlorine-based products are eliminated.

Key sustainability attributes of TPO wallpaper

  • PVC-free

  • No vinyl resins

  • Chlorine free

  • No heavy metals

  • Formaldehyde free

  • Halogen free

  • Low VOC

  • Can be safely incinerated, turning to water vapor.

Desert Poppy Paper can fulfill orders over 400 square feet with TPO in lieu of vinyl by special request.

Fabric Wall Coverings

But wait, the tapestry of wallpaper options does not end there. We mustn't forget the enchanting allure of fabric wallpaper. Created from exquisite textiles such as silk, linen, or even velvet, this opulent choice adds a sense of luxury and texture to any space. The craftsmanship involved in weaving these fabrics into delicate patterns and designs is a testament to the skill and artistry of the textile industry.

Fabric options include linen, wool, cotton, silk, rayon and viscose.


Lastly, we have the ingenious invention known as non-woven wallpaper. This modern marvel is made from a blend of synthetic and natural fibers, carefully fused together using heat and pressure. Non-woven wallpaper offers an array of benefits such as breathability, easy installation, and even the ability to be stripped off in one seamless motion when the time for change arises.

Best Wallpaper?  There's Something For Every Need

So you see, wallpaper is not only a mere combination of materials, but a carefully curated blend of artistry, functionality, and innovation. As an experienced interior designer, I have witnessed the transformative power of wallpaper firsthand, elevating spaces from mundane to extraordinary. May you too be inspired by this magnificent medium and embark on a journey of creating truly breathtaking interiors. 

Is there a best wallpaper material?  Yes, in the sense that there's a product best for your home or application, where the material matters as much as the pattern.

Refreshingly, you can purchase almost any wallpaper online, direct to consumer, including our shop, Desert Poppy Paper.