Zuber the National Treasure
As the oldest wallpaper factory still in use in the world, Zuber is a true national French treasure. Established in Rixheim, Alsace in 1797, Zuber still prints each creation by hand thanks to an exceptional savoir-faire combined with a carefully preserved heritage. The archives contain some 130,000 designs and 150,000 woodblocks – carved by its workers between 1797 and 1830, the latter now listed Monuments Historiques.
The company has a rich repertoire: earthly paradises, magnificent horizons, fantastical bestiaries, breathtaking landscapes, architectural treasures, allowing the creations to adapt to all decorative styles, from interiors full of history to the purest of designs. Each wallpaper is unique and it takes weeks to manufacture a custom order in the factories in Rixheim.
Zuber’s scenic wallpapers were introduced for the first time in 1804. These pieces represent complete landscapes, with each piece offering a new scene or motif where each roll of wallpaper connects to the other.
Today, Zuber manufactures around thirty different panoramic sets, all bearing enchanted and evocative names: Eldorado, Isola Bella, Hindoustan, Alhambra, Vues de Suisse, Vues du Brésil, Vues d’Amérique du Nord, Vues d’Italie, not to mention Chinoiseries (for which they have made several matching upholstery fabrics).
Patents and Uniqueness
Zuber holds several printing patents allowing different effects on the texture of the wallpaper, including iridescent printing (developed in 1819) which involves applying each color simultaneously using several brushes. A complex process used to depict the famous gradients of panoramic skies.
Another patent is the creation of stripes through the use of a trough (this process has existed since 1843). A roll of wallpaper (previously covered with the background color) is placed under a rectangular brass tray with holes of various widths pierced at the bottom, therefore allowing one or more colors to pass through simultaneously.
Unique is also the technique of velveting or flocking (dating back to 1852), which allows you to create a material finish and to accentuate the depiction of the mural.