Wallpaper, the ever-present stalwart of home décor, is back to trending in the right direction as an important, aesthetic essential of interior design.
This trend and growing popularity is partially thanks to modern digital print and inkjet technology. It not only allows businesses to make money with custom printed wallpaper but gives their customers the opportunity to get the designs they really want.
With the bonus that wallpaper is far easier to apply than in days gone by, and it’s now so much more customisable than almost anything else on the market, the resurgence is real, sustainable and a proper opportunity for businesses to add to their product offering.
So how can you and your business benefit from the commercial opportunities presented by printing wallpaper?
Customers Love Printed Wallpaper
It seems that no matter the product, customers love customisation. So much of what we see every day is mass produced and available worldwide. But the success of online marketplaces like Etsy and the
This doesn’t stop at gifts, clothing, and furniture either. A feature wall, for instance, is a large canvas to try something fun and exciting; showcase personality, display artwork or photography, and generally try something new. It’s possible to print in any number of sizes, so there’s a lot of scope for designers too.
Certain big brands have been taking advantage of printed wallpaper, with more and more catching on all the time. They have a consistent look that supports their brand and allows them to stand apart from their competitors.
So even if you have an established customer-base, being able to add products like customised wallpaper to your offering can appeal to new markets, opening up new opportunities for your business.
What Makes Wallpaper Printing Special?
Until relatively recently, producing wallpaper had been quite a costly process. Even when gravure printing replaced screen printing as the dominant method of producing wallpaper in the 1950s (a major revolution at the time), it was still prohibitively expensive for many businesses.
The eye-catching effects that you find on traditional wallpapers were made possible by gravure printing, but it had its limitations. Printing on textured substrates represented a big challenge, and costly custom-engraved steel rollers were required, meaning bulk runs were essential to keeping the cost down. Having to repeat the pattern every 64 cm also limited design creativity.
But all this became moot by digital print and inkjet technology.
Digital methods are improving all the time, whether that’s the print machinery, the inks or the substrate, which allows for a great deal of flexibility and a relatively simple entry point for many print professionals.
Here are some of the features that make digital print ideal for creating wallpaper that will appeal to a broad range of customer
- High print quality – Print large pieces in high definition that stands up to close scrutiny.
- Flexibility of substrate – An impressive range of papers are available, perfect for durable, long-lasting application, and a lot easier to work with than previous generations of wallpaper.
- Modern, vibrant, versatile, odour-free inks – Different ink configurations allow for a variety of applications, from attention-grabbing resin inks to special effects with UV inks to the impressive versatility, colour accuracy and high-speed production of
- One-off design costs – It costs the same to press print on a design once or many times, so economies of scale don’t impact the cost – perfect for short or long runs.
- Web-to-print ordering solutions – Customers can choose designs or even upload their own, and the order goes straight to the operator.
Unlike gravure, patterns don’t need to be repeated either. This gives designers so much more creative freedom to really maximise the potential of the space.
What Type of Printing is Used for Wallpaper?
What to choose between eco-solvent, resin or UV ink for printing wallpaper?
Well, it can be as simple as what you are currently set up to print. Each brings their own unique characteristics to the print and can suit different styles. Modern inks are far more suited to internal use than they used to be, and these three ink-types are lower on volatile organic compounds (VOCs), meaning they can be used indoors with no unpleasant odours or health concerns.
Many print businesses will already rely on modern eco-solvent ink, and it’s likely the dominant ink-type used by printers producing stickers, signage and banners as their main output. Eco-solvent is also ideal for wallpaper printing, so if it’s already part of your setup, it would be a straightforward addition. Image and colour reproduction is excellent, drying times are far quicker than in the past and it’s durable and resistant to wear and tear.
The unique feature of UV ink curing on top of the substrate, rather than being absorbed into it, means that it is ideal for creating special effects not possible with other ink types. It’s possible to print and build up layers of gloss ink to create raised textures. You can imagine a zoo having tactile snake scale wallpaper in their reptile house, for example. Wallpaper has always had that tactile nature to it, something UV can provide, while being durable enough to handle it.
Fast-drying, durability, excellent colour reproduction and a vibrant finish makes resin ink an ideal option for eye-catching wallpaper print. It is a great all-rounder that retains the texture of the substrate that it’s printed on. No VOCs mean that it is odourless and kind to the environment. The quick drying time means you can ship out your final product and move onto the next job that much faster.
What Material is Wallpaper Printed On?
A major reason for the decline in popularity of wallpaper in the past was how awkward it was to apply. Paint was just a lot more practical, quick and simple for those of us who weren’t experts. Luckily, there are now several types of wallpaper that are a lot more user friendly than what came before.
From paper-based wallpapers that have a matte finish that’s ideal for high resolution imagery with lots of colour, to more textured paper with a softening effect on the wallcovering, they can all be printed on with UV, resin and eco-solvent digital printing technologies.
There is also the option of vinyl paper that can be harder wearing for high-traffic areas, or where finer-detailed graphics and text-based designs are used. It is also possible to add antimicrobial protection post-print to make the wallpaper safe for schools, medical environments, or hospitality venues.
Where traditional wallpaper requires paste or glues, self-adhesive peel and stick wallpaper is far easier to install, reposition and replace.
Large format digital printers provide enterprising businesses fantastic opportunities to be creative and produce various styles and sizes of wallpaper for any number of customers.
Interior décor is hugely popular in all walks of life, from commercial branding and corporate culture, to simply making a space look appealing, interesting, or unique. It’s exciting to see how digital wallpaper printing will continue to develop and reinvent interior decoration.
If you’re looking to add new products to your current offering and increase your profits with reliable, user-friendly large-format digital printing equipment, get in touch with a Roland expert and we’ll be happy to help.