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Lincrusta wall covering, Roseland Cottage
Detail of Byzantine pattern Lincrusta wall covering

Lincrusta is a deeply embossed wallcovering, invented by Frederick Walton. In 1860, Walton patented linoleum floor covering.[1][2] Lincrusta was launched in 1877 and was used in a host of applications from royal homes to railway carriages. Many examples over a hundred years old can still be found throughout the world.

Commonly found in Victorian properties and restoration projects,[2] Lincrusta is also frequently used in commercial projects such as hotel foyers, bars, restaurants and casinos. Notable installations included six staterooms on the Titanic, the White House, the Winchester Mystery House [3] and Roseland Cottage in Woodstock, Connecticut, where it has been completely restored and is on view to the public.[4]

Production and characteristics[edit]

Lincrusta is made from a paste of gelled linseed oil and wood flour spread onto a paper base.[2] It is then rolled between steel rollers, one of which has a pattern embossed upon it.[5] The linseed gel continues to dry for many years, so the surface gets harder over time.

Both oil-based and water-based paints can be applied to Lincrusta, therefore it can provide a base for effects from simple colour washes or marbling, scumbling, and glazing, to more elaborate gilding and ver de mer treatments.


Lincrusta was originally manufactured in Sunbury-on-Thames[5] until 1918 when the manufacturing was moved to Darwen, Lancashire. The first production of Lincrusta in the United States was in 1883 in Stamford, Connecticut.[5] There were also factories built in 1880 at Pierrefitte, France, and by 1889 in Hannover, Germany.

Lincrusta is now produced in Morecambe, Lancashire using traditional methods. Heritage Wallcoverings Ltd acquired the Lincrusta operating assets in July 2014.


  1. ^ Yarwood, Doreen (1990) "The Domestic Interior: Technology and the Home" pp. 902-948 In McNeil, Ian (editor) (1990) Encyclopedia of the History of Technology Routledge, London, page 905, ISBN 0-415-01306-2
  2. ^ a b c Bush, Akiko (2010) "An Introduction to Modern Textiles: The Wrong Impression" Dwelling 10(5): pp. 120—126, page 122
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b c Campbell, Gordon (editor) (2006) "Lincrusta" The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts volume 1, Oxford University Press, New York, page 41, ISBN 0-19-518948-5

Further reading[edit]

  • Parsons, Ralph (1997) From Floor to Ceiling: How One Man's Inventions Brought Fame to Staines and Sunbury Spelthorne Museum, Staines, England, ISBN 0-9530265-0-7