The history of the Zuber & Cie factory is quite similar to
the history of wallpaper in Europe.
ZUBER FRANCEBased in Rixheim (Alsace, France) since 1797 in a former
commandry of the Teutonic Knights, the Zuber factory still prints
wallpapers, fabric and leather using the traditional
woodblock-printing technique.
This makes it the last factory in the world to use
this 18th century technique for its production.
The factory has kept documents in its archive since the
beginning (more than 130000 documents) as well as all the
manufacturing tools (150000 woodblocks, carved by its workers
between 1797 and 1870). The main strength of these archives
is their scale, especially during the first half of the 19th century.
Zuber also produces fabric, leather and paint.
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.
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”.
Their scale and consistency over the years make the Zuber archives unique.
Since 1790, the factory has kept one or several copies of each
design, gathering over 130,000 documents.
Looking at them now, at the beginning of the 21st century, we can only be amazed by the amount and diversity of the designs, the colour harmony and the inspiration behind each of them.
The Zuber factory still uses the original woodblocks engraved
between 1797 and 1830 to print the wallpapers, fabric and leather.
In total, over 150,000 woodblocks are stocked in the medieval
vaulted cellars (XVth century) of the factory. These woodblocks
are listed as historic monument and are part of the French heritage.
Developed by Zuber, this technique combines hand and
mechanical printing, water and solvent environment.
Hand-brushing of the backgrounds, screen or inkjet printing,
screen printed gilding, finish, aging, handmade patinas, embossing, 
This combination of complex processes has a high cost price,
which limits it to very special projects, in limited quantities, with
many colours or a complicated layout.
ZUBER FRANCE1- Hand-brushing of the background
2 - Inkjet printing
3 - Ageing process to creates cracks, by hand
4 - Varnishing, by hand
5 - Patina, by hand
6 - Backing on cotton calico
7 - Gold powder patina, by handZuber