What Is Damask Wallpaper?

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A modern living room composed of leather chairs and white damask designs on red walls.
A modern living room composed of leather chairs and white damask designs on red walls. (Image: Zoonar RF/Zoonar/Getty Images)

Damask wallpaper is patterned with rich designs that add an elegant look to walls. In some cases, the style may be as bold as a large, dark, almost-black pattern against a white backdrop. This wallpaper style takes its name from the ancient city of Damascus.

Origins of the Style

Many centuries ago, weavers in Damascus created ornate patterned fabrics, such as linen and silk, using as few as two different thread colors. Fabrics woven in damask style are reversible because of the weaving technique. Damask patterns are so elegant that this style has been emulated ever since, on everything from luxurious upholstered chairs to wallpaper. Some of today's damask wallpaper styles are inspired by designs made centuries ago. There is no one specific pattern or design element that makes it a damask print, although slightly curled or furled details are common, and the wallpaper may be textured. Some designs are vaguely reminiscent of plants, featuring leafy, floral or vine-like motifs in abstract.

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