Perswall installs Xeikon’s CX500 dry toner press

Perswall releases wallpaper designs by Sarah Widman

Perswall's Xeikon CX500 printing wallpapers

Perswall, part of the Embellence Group and an enterprise in digital wallpaper construction installed a Xeikon CX500 dry toner digital colour press in 2020. The company today is described as a lifestyle brand for the career-minded who wish to improve their individual and genuine self-expression. Perswall was rebranded and re-launched in March 2021 and at the same time released a collection of designs called ‘Serene Beginnings’ signed by designer Sarah Widman with 11 wallpapers in Scandinavian tones with bohemian elements.

Fredrik Larsson Larsson, chief operating officer of public-held Embellence Group states, “With our 115-year heritage of wallpaper production, our company has the experience, understanding, and knowledge to create unique designs to suit today’s consumer requirements. After years of paint playing a leading role in interior decoration, it is time for wallpaper renaissance. With digitally printed premium wallpaper, a self-developed ePlatform, and fast delivery service, Perswall is attracting design interested and quality conscious customers around the world. With our new Xeikon printing press we can now produce around 2000 square meters (21,000 square feet) of designer wallpaper every day.

Moving forward with Digital

In 2020, Perswall installed the Xeikon CX500 dry toner digital colour press for digital wallpaper production to increase capacity. Replacing a previous Xeikon press, they chose the CX500 as part of Xeikon’s highly productive Wall Decoration Digital Production Suite, to not only increase capacity but to increase their capabilities to compete in a growing marketplace.

Perswall’s Xeikon CX500 dry toner press in progress

Larsson explains, “Our ambition is to grow and fill the Xeikon machine with more and more jobs. The competition in the digital wallpaper production arena is growing but our strength and advantage is in having been early into this market. Also, we now have a seamless workflow from web order to printer. With the efficiency, quality, and flexibility of the Xeikon CX500 machine, this eco-friendly solution will enable us to produce fully finished rolls on the broadest range of substrates in short runs with fast changeovers and minimal waste. Our designer wallpapers use a non-woven material, a cellulose-based paper with polyester fibers.”

Perswall creates designer wallpaper to attract style-conscious consumers looking for high quality and unique interior design environments. Perswall produces wallpaper ‘on demand’ for both the Perswall and Boråstapeter brands. Customers are able to upload their own pictures or design and define the precise size of the final result. Delivery can be done within four days of ordering. It is also possible to order through a reseller, where customers can go to collect the final product. The Perswall brand is geared to be ‘right in time’ with the company communicating directly with its customers to build relationships based upon cooperation and the development of creative wallpaper products.

Covering the whole of the Nordic region, the Perswall production facility is situated in Borås, a city, one hour into the country from Gothenburg, Sweden, and famous for its textile tradition. The factory in Borås still uses old techniques for printing wallpaper, such as the original glue printing technique collagraphy. 150 staff in total work for both the Perswall and Boråstapeter brands. 50 of those staff cover production and design at the Borås headquarters facility. 80 percent of production goes to the Nordic market while the rest is distributed around the world, from North America to New Zealand.

Niche Products

In production, other methods are represented apart from digital. At Perswall they utilize gravure, screen, flexo, and collagraphy. Defining the two brands one could say that Boråstapeter approaches the broader market while Perswall serves the niche and ‘on demand’ markets. The company group also comprises an Italian production unit focused on exclusive products under the wall and deco brand. These products can be used outdoors and in sanitary rooms and are printed using inkjet technology.

Larsson comments, “So what is popular right now? What motifs are most liked by consumers today? The answer is – all kinds of flowers, small and large. Among the bestsellers, we find romantic large flowers and a pruning pompous greenhouse, wallpaper with a world map, and images of Central Park and New York skyscrapers. Trends in interior decoration have changed throughout history. Through time wallpaper has had glory days and difficult days. Painted walls dominated 20 years ago and the norm in construction was to deliver white painted walls – a non-choice that gave a rather sterile environment.”

Planning for growth

Perswall has a vision to grow its market share and is leaning on its long history and the diversity of skills of the company plus its partnerships with leading designers. Perswall’s new collection ‘Serene Beginnings’ signed by Sarah Widman follows an ongoing strategy. Every year the company releases and presents between five and ten different collections. The launch plans can span between two and five years and at present, there are more designer co-operations in the pipeline.

The Embellence Group has set a target of doubling its turnover to EUR 120 million in the next five years. The target to be reached is planned with a continued focus on the premium end of the markets plus growing turnover in international markets – also through acquiring other international players. Founded in 2006 by Irene and Christofer Gimmersta, the company was one of the pioneers in digital wallpaper production. Earlier called WallVision, the Emballence Group has a turnover of EUR 57 million. In March the Group was listed on Nasdaq First North Premier.

Larsson concludes, “Today wallpaper is back in vogue and interior decorators are looking out for unique and exceptional creative designs for walls and other surfaces. More and more people are now seeing that it’s not boring anymore to put up wallpaper, but rather a simple way to improve their standard of living and stimulate their personal environment. At Perswall, we demonstrate our wallpapers as an exclusive design product, not as a construction piece. Xeikon’s CX500 digital wall decoration press is a key asset in our plans for the future.”

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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