Surface Printing

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Surface press dating back to 1895

Invented in the 1840’s, Surface Printing is the oldest form of machine printing and creates a hand printed effect. Surface designs print wet and dry slowly, giving graphic patterns richness and dimension.

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Surface designs print wet; notice multiple troughs of paint.

America’s oldest wallpaper manufacturer, York runs modern print presses alongside Surface presses dating to 1895, the year of York’s founding. Having saved Surface Printing from obsolescence, York’s five Surface presses are tended with great care, and replacement parts are found through a single source in England, the birthplace of Surface Printing.

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A true labor of love, requiring the expertise of craftsmen who hone their skills the old-fashioned way: through on-the-job apprenticeships.

Surface Prints’ painterly allure is earned through a true labor of love, requiring the expertise of craftsmen who hone their skills the old-fashioned way: through on-the-job apprenticeships. With truly expert eyes, craftsmen like Color Mixer Dave Cassel can precisely match a 12-color wallpaper to its original artwork in a single try; then mix each pigment by hand, unaided by a computer.

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Color Mixer Dave Cassel can precisely match a 12-color wallpaper to its original artwork in a single try.

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Precisely matched pigment by hand, unaided by a computer.

Want to see up close and personal the richness and definition this painting-like process creates? Check out our Tree Shadow Wallpaper; order a sample, and see for yourself! More info on our website can be found here. And, Tree Shadow Wallpaper is only one example, we sell many patterns created using this historic process. As always, give us a call if we can help you more: 866.444.0495. We’d love to hear from you!

The lovely Tree Shadow Wallpaper. Created using the Surface Printing process.

The lovely Tree Shadow Wallpaper. Created using the Surface Printing process.

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The Friendliest Place on Earth AKA York Wallcovering

No, we’re not being compensated in any manner to print such a statement (But wouldn’t object if they wanted to. Just being honest.), but York Wallcovering, was indeed, one of the friendliest places to visit (and if you’re so friendly could you arguably be the happiest place on earth?).  We arrived to pick up a small amount of wallpaper and get a photo in front of the “York Wallcovering” sign (we are but a humble Dad and Daughter operation here), but we were ushered in and given a tour and introduced to many folks who are part of the manufacturing process, from creative idea to finished product.  We’re excited to post some photos of the highlights of our experience!

Of course, we did get our photo of a “York Wallcoverings” sign.

Recognize this fabulous pattern? One of our favorite brick patterns; our item # RCY032. This can be seen on our web-site if you head over to the “Brick & Stone Wallpaper” category.

We’ve always loved these lovely ladies. AND, we just added them to our website, too! Look under “Vintage Wallpaper”.

Oh, look who it is! The Dad half of the operation holding a cylinder that was used in surface printing.

New cylinder on the left, alongside two older ones. Very cool. Oh, and of course… lovely wallpaper on the walls. Wallpaper heaven…

Macro shot of older surface printer cylinder (pardon the daughter half here, hoping I’m using the term ‘cylinder’ correctly).

York’s antique surface printing machine still in operation, and this machine is used for some of the designer patterns. Gave us an all new appreciation for designer prints!

  Okay, we have a little more to share, but we don’t want to overwhelm with all of this Wallpaper Wonder. We’ll leave you with a quote from York’s site about the surface printing process:

“As America’s oldest and largest wallpaper manufacturer, York runs modern print presses alongside Surface presses dating to 1895, the year of York’s founding. The oldest form of machine printing, Surface designs “print wet and dry slowly, giving graphic patterns like Espalier (above) such softness and life,” says Ronald Redding, Design VP at York Wallcoverings.

A true labor of love, Surface printing requires the expertise of craftsmen who hone their skills the old-fashioned way: Through on-the-job apprenticeships. A craftsman’s eye for color becomes so keen he can precisely match a 12-color wallpaper to its original artwork in a single try; then mix each pigment by hand, unaided by a computer.”

A Link to the OFFICIAL YORK WEBSITE .