Wallpapers are one of the most trending and aesthetic aspects of interior design. The last few decades have seen a massive increase in sales and appeal for them. But wait, ever wondered how they're made? What is it about wallpapers that make them dazzle your bedroom wall? While there are a couple of factors that aid in the manufacturing of wallpapers, printing wallpaper patterns is one of the most important ones.
Ever since ancient times, printing has taken many forms. The same goes for wallpapers too. Wallpapers were initially printed through techniques such as hand painting, wood blocking, and stenciling to enhance one's home decor. Thanks to modern technology, however, there are many types of inks and methods businesses can use today.
Some of these include; Eco-Solvent, UV, and Latex printing. Today we'll be taking a detailed look at all three and conclude which one of them is the most optimal choice.
What is Eco-Solvent printing?
To put it simply, Eco-Solvent print is an inkjet print. Traditionally, wallpaper prints are not damaging to the environment but these are specifically manufactured such that they largely do not produce any ecological waste or harm the ecosystem. Although it still has some negative impacts on the environment.
When we look into the quality of these wallpapers, they are made by eco-solvent ink which is formulated by pigments suspended in a light biodegradable solvent.
This is why eco-solvent prints produce mediocre image resolution and are also not too , they are quite popular commercially but no so much for wallpapers but for marketing material. You'll often find them in shops or malls as informational or communication banners. Due to toxic nature of chemical ink they are not recommended for wallpapers in homes or offices.
Eco-solvent offers incredible outputs due to their precise performance in printers. Usually, their printers can generate ultra-fine dots of about 5-8 picoliters. Furthermore, they're quite robust both indoors and outdoors, they are also resistant to water for a decent period too.
What is UV Printing?
UV printing or Ultraviolet Light printing is a distinct and unique method of digital printing. The unique ink of the UV printing gets distributed and dries when applied to the printing medium immediately. In addition, it also prevents the ink from sinking into materials.
About the conventional printing method, there are special solvents in the ink. When applied to a material or at the time of printing, these solvents evaporate in the air. These solvents then release Volatile Organic Compounds or VOCs which are toxic and are harmful to the environment.
This process of evaporation of the solvents makes it easier for the ink to get absorbed in the material. The evaporation of the solvents, as well as the drying of the ink also called curing, will result in the making of the digital image. Further, the traditional method uses and produces heat and releases noxious odors.
While in UV printing the ink is not composed of any solvents that evaporate into the air. LED lights are used for the process of curing as opposed to using heat. The UV ink contains several Monomers, Pigments, and Photo-initiators. The ink dries instantly through polymerization, this is when the photo-initiators get exposed to the UV light.
Additionally, in UV printing there is no release of any Volatile Organic Compounds or VOCs into the air. There are also no noxious odors and the ink is water-resistant as well. However UV ink may have chances of print breaking over a period of time.
What is Latex Printing?
To start, let's go over the meaning of the word 'latex'. Latex is artificial and is obtained by the process of emulsification of synthetic rubber or plastic in the water. Latex print uses print heads to dispense water-based ink on various surfaces such as paper, cloth, etc.
The same kind of functioning can also be seen in your everyday modern inkjet printers. That's because latex uses inkjet tech for printing.
What distinguishes them though is the fact that, in latex printing, the latex itself acts as a carrier for the color pigments. Inkjet is an entirely different way of printing and Latex comes under it.
Further, the latex is also dried by heaters (of the printer) as soon as it is ejected. This helps to roll the output, the very instant it is printed. Another interesting feature about this type of printing is that latex paints can also be fused to the surface it is applied on. This is possible since the latex is at a high temperature (due to heaters) when ejected.
As far as its uses are concerned, latex paints can be used almost anywhere. Whether it be indoors or outdoors, there is a massive range of applications that latex is a part of. A few examples of this are; banners, posters, bedroom wallpapers, wall coverings, signage, and vehicle graphics.
The skill to print on both; coated and uncoated surfaces extends the use of this type of printing even more. These vast varieties in utility have made latex printing the most famous kind in the commercial printing industry especially for wallpapers for bedroom, kids room, living rooms, offices and commercial spaces.
Latex printing is simply the best combination of an instant drying attribute with a water formula. These are no toxic prints which also look very beautiful.
Why is latex printing better?
Now let's go over why latex printing is superior to both; UV and solvent printing.
Latex, solvent, and UV are all good options and provide high-quality and eye-catching prints. However, 4th Gen latex ink in the newer printers is accompanied by a bigger pigment load. This opens doors for a wider color spectrum compared to its predecessor. Another good feature is the fact that there are 50% more nozzles in the latest print heads which produce exquisite saturated colors at a much greater speed.
UV printed substrate is converted into a matte finish, while on the other hand, latex printing maintains the original material of any substrate. If the matter used is chromatic, such as in some bedroom wallpapers designs, the final printed material will remain chromatic, if the material used is semi-gloss, the final result will always remain as semi-gloss.
UV and eco-solvent prints; both have hazardous elements in them. UV inks need to be looked at and cared for with extreme care. You may have noted the 'dangerous goods' on their ink cartridges. When it comes to solvent inks, they hold volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which lead to ozone pollution. They also react with nitrogen oxides, causing health problems such as bronchitis.
Comparing all three together, latex ink is the safest option available to use. Latex prints use various kinds of compounds, none of which are harmful to health nor hazardous to our everyday surroundings.
UV prints come with a disturbing smell (not favorable for indoors such as kids room wallpapers) that many are not suited for. On the contrary Latex prints have no smell at all, being the most suitable option for both; indoors and outdoors.
Coming over to endurance, Both eco-solvent and UV prints are vulnerable to sharp actions such as scratching. This adds to the process (and cost) of lamination. With latex prints, there is no need for lamination since latex printed graphics can survive up to 3 years without any sort of lamination.
If you're looking to print your own wallpaper designs, then lifencolors is your last stop! With high quality wallpaper patterns and keeping up with the latest wallpaper trends, lifencolors guarantee an experience like no other! We use latest latex technology for wallpaper printing which are long lasting, easy to maintain, washable, and sturdy.
Feel free to pay us a visit anytime here!
That was all about the various kinds of inkjet printer wallpapers and their details. All wallpaper print types have their pros and cons but when it comes to narrowing it down to one, it’ll be Latex Prints since they provide the supreme and best quality along with high definition design patterns.
Moreover, they provide maximum efficiency while printing the saturated color pigments and even deliver odorless prints! However, Eco-solvent and UV-printed wallpapers aren't a bad option at all if you are specifically looking for environmentally friendly substitutes.
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