Painted canvas on walls

We recently purchased an older (1912) prairie-style house. The walls of the entire house appear to be painted canvas of some sort. We like the look and texture, and many of the rooms are in good shape. Two of the rooms have damaged canvas and it needs to either be 1) taken down and the plaster painted, or 2) the canvas replaced and painted. Our painters want to just pull it down and patch/paint the walls. We don't know how bad of shape the walls are in, however, and would be sort of committing to eliminating the canvas throughout the house eventually, since we don't want different rooms with different wall textures.
So, a long intro to ask if anyone knows what type of canvas this might be? It could be quite old though not necessarily original? Is it available today and if so how/where. The painters that have suggested putting up what I think is basically white wallpaper and painting over that. I don't think this is the same thing though, and I'm afraid it will look lousy and not wear well.
Thanks for any suggestions/sources,
Jennifer
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Canvas holds cracks from showing , you can cut out bad areas and after patching build up several layers of paint.. Why rip it off, eventualy you wont notice a difference of rooms. It can be redone . But if its good leave it
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On 1 Jul 2004 15:15:45 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@msn.com (Jennifer Schmidt) wrote:

The textured paper is a modern method to get a similar look. But hit a decent wall covering store in your area and you should find someone who knows about canvas. Otherwise, start hitting the internet for restoration finishers.
Locally it never really existed, but I had an old Victorian years ago in the Northeast where the service hallway and back stairs were still canvas. Basically a painter's canvas, sized and attached to the wall with a wallpaper paste. Relatively easy to patch with canvas from an art store and wallpaper paste, then repainted the whole wall.
Jeff
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