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(May 2012) posted on Thu May 03, 2012

Digitally produced wallcoverings are transforming empty spaces into a venue for marketing, rebranding, and self-expression.

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By Mike Antoniak

Earlier this year, Top Value Fabrics expanded its product catalog with its first material developed specifically for digitally printed wall coverings. The PVC-free 4-ounce fabric has been especially engineered for printing on solvent, eco-solvent, UV, latex, and screen printers and will be offered in both 54- and 60-inch widths.

“We wanted to be able to provide the industry with a PVC-free material that is fully repositionable so it can be easily taken down and put up somewhere else, if that’s what’s desired,” says Lorna D’Alessio, director of print media sales. She describes it as an affordable alternative to comparable products with an upscale textile surface and a brighter white to enhance the vibrancy of graphics printed on it. “We see it has something for retail settings, showrooms, conference rooms, even skyboxes – wherever they are looking for that upscale look in a PVC-free material.”

At Lintec of America, Coyne reports strong demand for the company’s 36-inch-wide Printerior fireproof wall media. “Printerior is a true paper designed to accept UV curable, latex, or aqueous inks. Many of our customers prefer the idea of offering a product that does not include PVC or solvent inks. To give those papers long-term durability, a new liquid laminate from Lintec should be released soon. He says it will be “very clear without the strong oder associated with many other liquid laminates.”

Neschen America’s offering, SolvoPrint Wall Grip, is a variation on traditional vinyl with specific adhesion properties for the wallcoverings market. “We already offer other materials for interior floor and window graphics and have our own adhesive coatings line, so this seemed like a natural extension of our business,” says Myers.

Wall Grip is a 6-mil polymeric vinyl with a specialty removable adhesive intended as a short-term solution, for installation up to a year. “If you want real long-term durability in high-traffic areas, you can also laminate and will be best serviced with a liquid laminate,” he points out.

Wall Grip has been so well received, says Myers, and the wallcoverings market shows such promise, a fabric-based version is being developed to give Neschen customers more options to offer their clients. “Fabric gives you a much more pliable woven material that’s more flexible and forgiving and easier to install, especially over textured walls. And with our [repositionable] adhesive, when you do make a mistake it’s easy to remove and install smoothly.”