One More Comment About Shading in Grasscloth

I discussed shading / paneling in previous posts. Can you hang with me on just one more comment about the topic?

One way to minimize shading is to reverse-hang every other strip, meaning, you hang the first strip right-side-up, and the second one upside-down, the third one right-side-up, and so on.

The idea is that if there is slightly more color printed on the right side of the roll, if you reverse the next strip, you are placing the same side of the roll against itself. This greatly minimizes any color variations, at least that your eye can detect. It sounds confusing, but if you just take a long piece of paper, color one long edge blue, tear it in half horizontally, and then place the two pieces next to one another, first with both pieces right side up, and then turning one of them upside down, you will see what I mean.

Anyway, the point is that that trick doesn’t work with grasscloth, at least not natural-colored grasscloth. For starters, all the fibers are natural, and vary in color and width, so it doesn’t matter how you turn them – there is never going to be any match.

I also am reluctant to reverse-hang grasscloth (and certain other solid-color goods) because I worry about a sheen, or nap, or other directional element that may be imposed on the material, that you don’t consciously notice, but that would catch your eye if that “rythmn” were disturbed.

As an example of that, look closely at the photo; enlarge it if you can. You will notice that the grass fibers seem to go downward ever so slightly on either end of each strip – sort of like they are frowning. If I were to reverse every other strip, you would have one strip frowning, one strip smiling, the next one frowning again, and then another one smiling. From a distance, this would give a very wavy look to the wall.

Now, if you WANTED that look, you could plot to hang the room that way. Personally, I think uniformity is a much better goal. At least, as uniform as you can get with a decicedly UNuniform product such as grasscloth.

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