History of the factory
The Zuber factory, two centuries of wallpaper
Originally and probably because of the similarities between the emerging wallpaper industry (a few workshops opened in Paris) and the fabric industry growing in Alsace at the end of the 18th century, a fabric printer from Mulhouse established a paper printing workshop in 1790 for his son.
Rapidly, the company needed more space and moved in 1797 to Rixheim, in a former commandry of the Teutonic Knights, still used today by the factory. Jean Zuber, who started in the company at 17 as sales representative, became the only owner in 1802. The company took his name and during the 19th century grew extraordinarily because of the manufacturing process and the artistic qualities of the designs. They are still today the reasons for the prestige and fame of the brand.
Apart from the well-know scenic wallpapers, the factory created a large collection of wallpaper designs or patterns such as friezes, borders, ceiling roses and architectural trompe l’oeil. They necessitated the engraving of tens of thousands woodblocks. Today, 80 to 90% of the production is still printed using the traditional techniques and original woodblocks.
(Woodblock printed documents are pinpointed on the website, under “Products” as well as in the data sheets of the collections showcased in the Zuber showrooms.)
A unique collection of scenic wallpapers
The first scenic wallpapers appeared in France in 1804. More were printed during the French Restauration and production slowly declined after the Second Empire. France was the only country to ever print scenic wallpapers. Zuber which was rapidly considered one of the two best companies for the quality and scale of production, is the only one which never stopped printing scenic wallpapers.
Between 1804 and 1860, Jean Zuber and his successors produced 25 scenes. The secret behind their success was the participation of great artists who were able to combine their talent and the technical requirements of production to produce a real mural.
Among these artists, Pierre MONGIN created 7 scenes for the factory. His “Vues de Suisse” is the first scenic wallpaper created in France. DELTIL created several important scenes such as “Brésil”, “Vues d’Amérique du Nord” and “Courses de chevaux”. Together, EHRMANN, ZIPELLIUS and FUCHS produced “Isola Bella”, “L’Eldorado” and “Zones Terrestres”.