Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between wallpaper and wall covering?

Wallpaper is a pattern printed on PAPER and is most common for residential applications. It comes in rolls of either 5, 9, or 11 yards. Wall Coverings are commercial grade products made of VINYL. This means that they are washable and able to be wiped down. We most commonly recommend them for bathrooms that have lots of humidity or high traffic areas, like hallways and kitchens. Because they are made out of vinyl, wall coverings are made to showcase textures and patterns made out of textures (instead of the printed patterns on wallpapers).

What do you mean when you use the term ‘Independent Studios’?

Independent Studios are artist and designers who have launched their own brands. These are small companies make unique patterns that are often hand-drawn and hand silk screened. We are proud to be the Chicago showroom for these designers and bring you a selection of wallpaper and fabrics that you won’t find at large retail stores or at the Merchandise Mart! Because we work closely with the designers of these companies, a lot of things are possible, like custom colors and scale shifting, that simply aren’t possible with large manufacturers.

Are your products in stock?

No, we are a showroom. We place your order once you have made your purchase. But we do check out samples from our showroom so that you can see the fabric or wallpaper in your space before you place your order.

How long does it take to get my fabric or wallpaper order?

Most products are ready to ship from the mill. If the mill does have stock, you will receive your order within about 7 business days. Products that ship from Europe typically take longer, at around 2-3 weeks to receive.

Do you ship my order to my home?

We can ship your order if you live out of state. For local orders, we prefer to ship the order to our showroom and have you pick it up from us. This is because we like to check your order to make sure everything is in perfect condition. This way if something goes wrong, we will handle everything right away.

What if the fabric or wallpaper I want to buy is not in stock at the mill?

We can check availability of the product before you make the purchase. If it’s not in stock, the mill usually has a production date scheduled. We will let you know the restock date. We ask that you keep in mind, restock dates can sometimes be changed by the manufacturer (which we have no control over).

If you are not in a rush for the fabric, this is normally not a big deal. If you absolutely need an order by a specific date, we recommend that you re-select a product that is in-stock at the mill.

Does urban source install wallpaper?

No, we do not. We do have recommendations of installers who are experienced in hanging all wallpapers, wall coverings, and natural woven products that we carry at Urban Source. These installers are independent from Urban Source, Therefore, all arrangements for installation and pricing are made between you and the installer.

What if I want to install wallpaper myself? Is it difficult?

We always recommend a professional installer. Wallpaper patterns require a lot of precision to match up the pattern. In addition, commercial wallcoverings can be tricky because they are wide width (almost 5 ft wide). But if you are still confident in your wallpaper hanging abilities, we recommend a clay based adhesive and lots of patience!

How long does it take to have draperies made?

6-8 weeks.

How do I go about ordering custom drapery and shades?

You can always come browse our fabric selections in our showroom anytime. If you are ready to move forward with a drapery project, we recommend that you set up a drapery meeting with one of our designers. During that appointment you will: Select fabrics, learn the different construction options and decide what will work best for your space. After your first meeting, we will calculate pricing based on your specific project to give you an idea of the cost. From this point you can decide to move forward with construction or set us another meeting to make changes to your project.

What should I bring to my first custom drapery (or custom shade) appointment?

We are glad you asked! Please bring: Your window measurements and wall measurements, pictures of the window and the room, and any swatches/pictures of other design elements in your room that will we need to coordinate your drapery fabric with. Lastly, feel free to bring in inspiration images of things that you like.

How long does it take to have something reupholstered?

Please allow about 1 week for fabric to ship and 3-4 weeks for the re-upholstery work. It also depends on the size of the job and how busy our work room is at the moment.

Can I just drop off my chair to be reupholstered?

We are a small showroom with limited space. Our upholstery work room is also off site. Our work room will pick up your piece for you. If you live in the city, it is generally free of charge. Otherwise you can arrange for a messenger service.

Do you have natural or synthetic fabrics?

We have both! We carry natural fabrics, such as: cottons, linens, and wool blends. Our natural selection is used mostly for drapery and pillows. For upholstery usage we carry more synthetic products, such as polyester blends. Most of our upholstery fabric is commercial grade, so they meet state and federal testing requirements for flammability requirements AND are super durable. Some of our products are also treated with stain resistant finishes, which are great for kids and pets!

Can I borrow or have a sample?

We check out samples just like a library. Generally we check out up to 6 to 8 samples at a time. We will check out samples for up to 2 or 3 days. For special situations, a longer amount of time can be arranged. We ask that you leave a credit card number with us to hold the samples while they are in your care. This is in case any samples are damaged or lost and we need to replace them.

If you would like samples to keep, you can place an order with us for a small fee.

Enviornmentally Friendly Fabrics
Fabric Care and Maintenance
Wallpaper vs. Wallcovering