Canvassing was done to provide an exquisitely textured surface for painting.
Canvas as an original underlayment usually indicates first-class workmanship throughout the house.
My wall: Despite hours on the internet, I cannot find information about how to do this on shiplap walls. This place http://www.rosebrand.com sells canvas and muslin; plus I'm sure I could buy sail cloth from a sailmaker, but I don't know which weight or fabric to choose, plus I need info on how to prepare it (preshrink? prime?) and how to install it. I have 11 ft ceilings and I don't want seams like wallpaper, so I need to buy extra-wide canvas. My rooms are approximately 15' square, with lots of windows and doors. I have to make sure it won't wrinkle or stretch with seasonal moisture changes in the shiplap. That's why the cheesecloth/muslin/wallpaper canvas was always applied to the shiplap walls before pasting the wallpaper to the muslin. I'm thinking I can tack it directly to the wall where it meets the ceiling and in the corners to the floor. Those tacks would be covered by trim or molding, but what about around the windows and doors? The canvas would be painted on the wall after installation. Not a mural, just a painted wall.
Feedback? Resources? Terrible idea? Workable? Input?