‘Tis The Season – for Defects

This is the second time in a month that I have not been able to finish a job for a client, due to problems with the paper. In this case, it is not a defect in the paper itself, but rather, damage caused by improper storage – most likely at the vendor.

Look closely at the top photo and you will see slight light line along the far right edge. This is where ink has been pulled off the surface. There are also remnants of ink along the right edge of the backside of the wallpaper, as seen in the second and third photos.

What happened is, the bolts of wallpaper must have gotten a tad wet along one edge. Perhaps stored in a warehouse that had a water leak that accessed the wallpaper. Or the delivery guy spilled his Ozarka and a tiny splash found its way into the edge of the wallpaper.

Whatever happened, three of the five double roll bolts of paper were damaged.

What happened is, the wallpaper is pre-pasted, which means it has a thin layer of dry paste on the backside. When the spilled water reached the edge of the wallpaper bolt, it was absorbed, and the moisture re-activated the paste. The paste stuck the rolled-up layers of paper to themselves.

When I came along and started to unroll the wallpaper, the backside stuck to the printed front side, and pulled some of the ink off. Hence you see color missing from the surface, and color stuck to the back.

There is no way to know if this happened at the factory, or at one of the many middle-man vendors popping up on-line these days, or on the delivery guy’s truck.

This is a pretty minor flaw. Yet, once up on the wall, it would result in a faint, pale, vertical line from floor to ceiling, along each seam – every 27.”

I thought the homeowner deserved better, so I declined to hang it. She will have to reorder, making sure to get a different run number, which means the new paper will have been printed and shipped at a different time. Or, she may choose a whole different pattern altogether. Either way, it’s pretty sure that the new paper will not have encountered moisture that could cause this problem again.

The wallpaper is by Caitlin Wilson, and is made by York, in their SureStrip line – which is actually one of my favorite brands.

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