variegated with bars of velvet,

enkidu68

Senior Member
turkish
Hi folks, this is cited from Wellingborough Redburn by Hermann Melville (1849)
Question: Bold one? Was this wall paper colored with bars of velvet? In other word, what is this "bars of velvet?"

The walls, covered with a sort of tartan-French paper, variegated with bars of velvet, were hung round with mythological oil-paintings, suspended by tasseled cords of twisted silver and blue.
 
  • PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    "Bar" has been used where today we would say "stripe".
    Was this wall paper colored with bars of velvet?
    "Coloured" is the wrong verb - "you should understand it as "added for variety" -> The walls, covered with a sort of tartan-French paper, which had bars of velvet added to it in order to add variety,
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    There are two possibilities:
    1. Tartan is a pattern made of stripes (or bars) of colour crossed at right-angles. It is possible that this was flocked wallpaper (very popular in the 19th century), where certain of the coloured stripes were embossed with a velvety texture.
    2. Variegated also suggests blocks of different colours. It is possible that a strip of contrasting wallpaper was introduced every two or three lengths. Standard wallpaper rolls made in Europe have dimensions of 10.05 m x 0.53 m, so a strip of plain velvet paper could be introduced every 1.06 or 1.59 metres, for instance.
    I've no idea which of these applies in your case.
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    I've just had a thought:
    "you should understand it as "added for variety" -> The walls, covered with a sort of tartan-French paper, which had bars of velvet added to it in order to add variety,
    French paper seems to be a reference to a particular quality of paper
    Tartan is obviously the pattern printed on the paper.
    And some of the stripes of the tartan have been coated with velvet in a manner that would now be known as "flock wallpaper". This was very popular with the upper classes in Melville's day and can still be purchased.

    "Flock" (usually uncountable) is very small, almost dust-like, particles of cotton or wool, especially those that have been dyed.
    "Flock-[wall]paper" is made by taking ordinary paper and painting some type of glue upon it in a pattern. The flock is then blown over the pattern and sticks to it - this gives the impression of velvet.
     
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