A fabric wall is a luxurious alternative to a wall covered in paint or wallpaper. Not only does it add a touch of softness and drama, it can help muffle sounds. But covering a wall in fabric isn't the easiest of jobs. Rather than doing this tricky job on your own it's best to hire a professional. Check out these tips and FAQs before starting.
Choose a Fabric
A fabric wall is a big commitment because it takes up a lot of visual space. Make sure to choose something that compliments the room and that you won't tire of too quickly. If you want something really bold consider doing just one wall rather than a whole room.
Once you've chosen a fabric take a sample piece to an upholsterer to make sure it will work. Some fabrics are too delicate to be used as upholstery (even wall upholstery) so you want to be sure it's appropriate before buying a large amount.
Determine the Quantity
The best way to determine how much fabric you'll need is to multiply the width and height of the wall and divide the number by 12 (12 square feet is equal to one yard). If you're working with a patterned fabric (be it floral, damask, toile or something else) you'll likely want to buy 10 to 20 percent extra in order to allow the repeat to align on the seams. If you have a lot leftover at the end you can use it to make coordinating pillows, trim or other accessories.
Apply the Fabric
Once again, it's best if a professional upholsterer tackles this job. He or she will begin by building a wooden frame and nailing it to the wall. Then the frame is filled with batting and covered with the fabric. The fabric is stretched and nailed to the frame. There are other ways to do it where the fabric is actually glued to the wall with a special adhesive but this is the traditional method.
To give your fabric wall a finished look use a coordinating ribbon trim or welting around the edges. If you so choose you can apply it on the seams, but otherwise use it around windows, doors, and the top and bottom of the wall where it meets the ceiling and floor. It will give the wall a tailored look.
Like with all upholstery, the cleaning will depend on what type of fabric it is. It's a good idea to have it stain-guarded before applying it to the wall so that you can do spot cleaning if necessary. Other than that you should vacuum it regularly to prevent dust from collecting.