Glossary

  • Antimicrobial (Biocide): A compound commonly added to a polymeric compound or coating to inhibit the growth of bacteria, fungi and algae on the surface of a finished product.
  • Base: The vinyl sheet or ground produced at the manufacturing plant in color on which design prints are added.
  • Block Printing: The process of producing a pattern on a wallcovering by means of wood blocks into which the design is cut. For the most part, it has been replaced by silkscreening.
  • Bolt: A roll of fabric or wallcovering of a given length.
  • Border: A narrow strip of accent wallcovering often used just under the ceiling, as a chair rail or around a window or door frame.
  • Breathable: Wallcoverings that allow water and air to pass through. Solid vinyls and foils are not breathable. Wallpaper, string, vinyl-coated paper and paintable woven fiberglass wallcoverings are breathable.
  • Calendering: The process of forming materials to make a film/sheet by passing them through a series of precision rollers. Calender coated fabrics have a selected textile material adhered to the plastic film/sheet.
  • Calendered Stock: A coated stock that has been compressed to make it smooth and glossy.
  • Coatings: A thin protective surface layer, usually of vinyl, which is applied to wallcoverings to provide washability and durability.
  • Color Run: The amount of rolls of a particular design produced of a single color combination. Subsequent runs of that same design and color-way may be slightly different. (This is why it is important for purchasers to retain the run number in case additional rollage is needed.)
  • Contract Wallcoverings: Wallcoverings produced for commercial use and normally available in 48" or 54" widths.
  • Drill Cloth: A coarse linen or cotton cloth with a diagonal weave.
  • Embossing: The process of imparting a specific pattern or graining to the surface of the material. This can be done during the film formation process or at a later operation. It generally requires the material to be at an elevated temperature during the process and then cooled to set in the embossing pattern.
  • Engraving: Machine printing of wallcovering with etched-out rollers to obtain subtle and fine effects.
  • Extruder: A process in which heated or unheated plastic is forced through a shaping orifice (a die) in one continuously formed shape, as in film, sheet, rod or tubing.
  • Fabric-Backed Wallcovering: Wallcovering with a solid vinyl intermediate layer laminated to a woven or nonwoven fabric substrate.
  • Filling Agents: Typically composed of calcium carbonate, alumina or other inorganic compositions, these agents impart certain desired characteristics to the finished product such as flame retardancy and smoke suppression. They also can act as processing aids.
  • Flame Spread: The propagation of a flame away from the source of ignition across the surface of the specimen.
  • Foil: Wallcovering that is constructed by laminating a thin sheet of aluminum foil onto a substrate of paper or scrim. Foils sometimes have a polyester sheet between the paper backing and the foil to prevent water in the adhesive from actually contacting the foil.
  • Grasscloth: A handcrafted product made from grasses or vines.
  • Gravure Printing (Rotogravure): A roll printing process where the amount and areas of application are determined by the location and depth of depressions engraved on the roll surface. The excess print vehicle is wiped off the surface of the roll with a doctoring blade prior to application. The metered print is applied to the plastic material as it passes between the gravure roll and a resilient surface backing roll.
  • Ground: Raw stock onto which a coat of pigment has been applied before the top colors are put on.
  • Ground Coat: The coat of pigment applied to raw stock before the top colors are put on; the background color.
  • Laminating: The process of combining two or more natural or synthetic layers together by use of an adhesive, heat, and/or pressure.
  • Machine Printing: The method by which most modern wallcoverings are decorated. It employs a rotary press and a series of cylinders that operate at high speed.
  • Nonporous: Also referred to as "non-breathable." Wallcovering with this characteristic does not allow water and air to freely pass through its surface.
  • Nonwoven Fabric: Textile material formed by laying a continuous web of random spaced fibers to form a uniform batting. The fibers are then bonded to form a fabric by chemical adhesion, thermal or mechanical processes.
  • Osnaburg: A type of coarse, heavy cloth, usually cotton, used as a backing in Type II vinyl coated fabric wallcoverings. It is also used to make work clothes and sacks.
  • Paper-Backed Vinyl (Solid Sheet Vinyl): Wallcovering that has a paper (pulp) substrate coated with a vinyl plastisol.
  • Peelable Wallcovering: A wallcovering from which the decorative surface (usually vinyl) may be dry-stripped from the backing (usually paper), leaving a continuous layer of the backing on the wall.
  • Pigments: Colorants that are insoluble in the medium in which they are used. They can be organic (contain carbon in molecule basic component) or inorganic (contain a metal in molecule basic component) and derived from both natural or synthetic sources.
  • Plasticizer: A substance incorporated in a material such as vinyl resin to increase its workability, flexibility or processability.
  • Plastisol: A vinyl homopolymer or copolymer suspension containing plasticizer(s) and other needed additives. The liquid suspension is