Digitally printed wallpapers and DIY applications

Durst’s Alpha and Ahlstrom’s WallStar Digital Peel & Up range

Applying wallpaper home improvement. Credit Asbe

Wallpaper printing technology and trends have evolved over the years, bringing about various methods and advancements to enhance the quality and customization of wallpapers. Wallpaper production involves reproducing images or designs onto large-width on continuous rolls of substrates. Often, these printed rolls are provided as adhesive-backed materials for home or commercial establishment decoration.

Traditionally, high-volume production for the home furnishing and decoration sector used gravure printing. However, new technologies using inkjet industrial printing, together with ease of application and removal trends for do-it-yourself (DIY), are shaping the global market. Recently, Indian distributors of imported wallpapers have also evinced greater interest in their local production using digital industrial printing.

Durst, a manufacturer of digital printing and production technologies, has adapted its digital inkjet printing technology to wallpaper printing. A shift from conventional screen and gravure printing presses to more sustainable production processes using less water and energy consumption, which also enable smaller volumes to be produced inexpensively without warehousing costs is accelerating. Other important drivers are the use of new environmentally friendly materials that are odor-free and can be made from recycled raw substrates.

The Durst Alpha Wallpaper edition is among the most productive digital printing systems on the market, with a production capacity of over 1,500 rolls per day or up to 1.2 million linear meters per year. In addition to productivity and color consistency across the entire print width or run length, the total cost of owner (TCO) is also important for producers. This is where Durst has another advantage with its expertise in print quality and ink consumption. With Durst Alpha Pigment Inks, Durst also offers fully water-based inks in eight colors that enable ‘healthy sustained wallpaper,’ with a natural and high-quality look.

Based out of Blackburn, Lancashire, UK Graham & Brown, a provider of printed interior decoration material has invested in Dursts Alpha Wallpaper edition technology. “The potential is enormous,” said Sam Dobson, operations director for Graham & Brown. “Digital is an extremely important technology for the wallpaper industry. It’s really about print-on-demand, reducing print run-lengths, and giving a more bespoke offering to customers. At the moment, this industrial-scale digital production has filled the gap between the high run lengths of conventional printing and the low volumes of our previous digital machines.

We see the Durst as a complementary technology that has many environmental and other benefits. As one example, the main resource we need to power the machine is electricity, and all of that is renewable. For the last year, all of our digital production – representing 35% of the Graham & Brown brand offer – has been carbon zero,” Dobson claims.

Ahlstrom’s WallStar Digital Peel & Up range

Ahlstrom, one of the global players in sustainable and innovative fiber-based solutions, has overcome a lot of the challenges of applying and removing wallpaper with its new range of self-adhesive nonwovens. Wallpaper can now be easily swapped, enabling consumers to confidently fully customize and redecorate walls themselves.

Anna Brikh, product manager at Ahlstrom, comments, “As a substrate supplier, we are in between the print and the consumer. The substrate has to bring those two worlds together, meeting market demands and ensuring the state-of-the-art quality of the end product. With our range of nonwovens for wall decor, we have always been looking to provide printers and consumers with high-quality and easy-to-use materials. We believe that WallStar Digital Peel & Up is an important step forward to meet the ongoing customization trends in the decoration markets.”

According to Brikh, Ahlstrom’s WallStar Digital Peel & Up range makes decoration quick and effortless, even for a novice home decorator. No glue or special equipment is needed. It’s easy to reposition during installation and also straightforward to remove. The user can simply peel away the wallpaper of the release liner and apply it to the wall. Trouble-free removability enables smooth repositioning or replacement with a different design. No adhesive is left on the wall after removal. The Peel & Up range includes 100% PVC-free satin and matt media.

There are different printing methods for wallpaper, including digital printing, screen printing, offset, and gravure printing. Digital printing is increasingly preferred for its ability to produce high-quality, customized prints. Common printing materials include paper, vinyl, or fabric-backed vinyl. The choice depends on factors like durability, ease of installation, and the desired look.

In 2024, we are looking at full recovery and growth-led investment in Indian printing

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. It created the category of privately owned B2B print magazines in the country. And by its diversification in packaging, (Packaging South Asia), food processing and packaging (IndiFoodBev) and health and medical supply chain and packaging (HealthTekPak), and its community activities in training, research, and conferences (Ipp Services, Training and Research) the organization continues to create platforms that demonstrate the need for quality information, data, technology insights and events.

India is a large and tough terrain and while its book publishing and commercial printing industry have recovered and are increasingly embracing digital print, the Indian newspaper industry continues to recover its credibility and circulation. The signage industry is also recovering and new technologies and audiences such as digital 3D additive printing, digital textiles, and industrial printing are coming onto our pages. Diversification is a fact of life for our readers and like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

India is one of the fastest growing economies in nominal and real terms – in a region poised for the highest change in year to year expenditure in printing equipment and consumables. Our 2024 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock – to emphasize your visibility and relevance to your customers and turn potential markets into conversations.

– Naresh Khanna

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