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.”

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels 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. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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