All About Grasscloth

Grasscloth, one of my favorite materials, layers an intense level of natural beauty, texture and depth into interior spaces. Grasscloth varies from other types of wallpaper in the complex framework of all-natural materials that makes up the wallcovering.

The most common materials used in grasscloth wallcoverings are arrowroot, raw jute, sisal, cork, hemp burlap, and reed, and java/triangle grass; each material having its own unique texture and style. These materials are usually woven together through a complicated process using thin cotton threads and sea grass strands, both of which are fastened to a lightweight backing, usually made of rice paper. This makes the material very lightweight and delicate, which is why it is not suggested that you use it in a high traffic or high humidity location.

In specifying grasscloth in my projects, I always educate my clients that grasscloth is a natural material. So, it's impossible to match one piece of grasscloth to another and, therefore, there may be noticeable seams between panels. Imperfections and slight variations of color are inherent in natural materials, but that is part of what makes the finished product so beautiful. Don’t expect the materials that grasscloth to be uniform in color, but don’t worry, it is not designed to be matched.

Grasscloth has different dimensions than standard wallpaper because the sheets are wider. A double roll of grasscloth measures 36 inches wide by 24 feet long. Most other wall coverings have standard double roll widths of 21 and 27 inches.

Generally grasscloth cannot be washed or wiped. Instead, the wallcovering should be vacuumed to remove dust or dirt. Because most grasscloth papers are very textural, a professional wallpaper hanger can usually seamlessly patch a damaged or stained area.

Some of our resources for specifying grasscloth in our projects includes:

Phillip Jeffries - Offering an extensive selection of grasscloth wallcoverings as well as useful tools, such as yardage calculators and photo examples of installed materials;

F. Schumacher & Company - Offerings a great collection of solid and printed grassclosth wallcoverings;

Thibaut - An extensive collection of fabrics and wallcoverings, including solid and printed grasscloth wallcoverings.

Robert Frank Interiors is a full-service interior design firm located in San Marino, California. We work in collaboration with our clients to create beautiful, functional spaces that reflect our clients' lifestyles and personalities. Visit us on the web at