Newsworthy is a handsome wallpaper that puts a new spin on an old technique. Woven on handlooms using the same technique as traditional grasscloth wallcoverings, the wallpaper is composed of 100% recycled newspaper and nylon filament. Newsworthy offers a nice texture, as well as subtle bits of pattern and color. As each of the woven strips is quite narrow none of the patterns or colors dominate and work together to form a nice all-over texture. Each roll is unique with slight variations alluding to its handmade nature, while the strips of woven paper vary from the standard black and white type to color advertisements. Newsworthy is woven in India on traditional handlooms using the coiled newsprint for the weft and nylon filaments as the warp. This gives the paper strength and keeps it flexible. After the paper is woven, it is shipped back to the United States where it is paper backed to facilitate being pasted to the wall. As with grasscloth, slight variations in color are inherent in the product. The finished product does not receive any additional surface treatment.
The bulk of the world's grasscloth has always been made in Japan. Traditionally woven from the bark of the honeysuckle vine, the use of grasscloth as a wallcovering dates back hundreds of years where evidence of its use is found in ancient temples. The many stages of production slowly became standardized, and some mechanized, after Japan was introduced to Western markets. Grasscloth was first exported to the United States in the 1880s.
The wallpaper makes a nice bridge between the traditional technique of hand weaving on looms and the modern notion of recycling. The Museum is making a concerted effort to collect responsible design, whether through re-use and recycling, to farming, and use of rapidly renewable resources.