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Custom wallpaper is a growing trend Print E-mail
New wallpaper ink; not solvent-based (so less odor), JETALL water-based pigmented ink from Hongsam

Some of the self-adhesive wallpapers you can even learn how to apply yourself.

Because so many people are asking about wallpaper and wallcoverings, we at FLAAR Reports are offering more studies of the inks, materials, and printers for wallpaper. This new page speaks about one of the new inks for wallpaper, JETALL.



Sample of Wallpaper.


Ink for wallpaper should NOT be solvent

Hongsam Wallpaper
Good ink for Canon iPF printers
Hongsam Wallpaper

When our table top decoration was printed with UV-cured ink about five years ago we had to remove the UV-print for several months to allow the odor to fade.

I have heard of several printshop owners and managers say that clients have turned down printjobs with UV-cured ink because of the odor that persisted too long.

Admittedly some UV-cured inks stink worse than other brands. One brand in particular had a smelly reputation in past years. And, the smell depends on what print mode you use: if you put low cure to get satin effect the odor will be worse.

Plus of course some substrates have their own odor, especially when heated by UV-cured lamps.

Solvent-inks on PVC are even worse, since the odor in the printshop (and VOCs) are too much.

As a result, HP has success with their HP latex ink for wallpaper, in part because it is not excessively solvent-based (most inks have solvents, but HP latex ink has fewer than eco-solvent although a tad more than water-based).

But now there are other inks with a tad fewer solvents than even latex ink. Plus you do not need high curing temperatures for the non-latex inks. So you can print on a wide range of wallpaper materials.

Resin ink has even fewer solvents

For the last fifteen years we have all used “water-based ink” as the base for defining a non-solvent ink. Everyone accepted water-based ink as relatively benign.

Then HP released wave after wave after wave of PR releases on how eco-friendly it’s HP latex ink was. Unfortunately the PR blitz was excessive and people gradually realized there were perhaps 5% or maybe a tad more solvents in HP latex ink than in water-based ink.

Then, because the PR blitz with overstated eco-friendly and non-solvent claims continued nonstop, other ink companies poignantly pointed out that water-based ink had some unpleasant chemicals. Evidently Mutoh water-based ink is one, but I would estimate that HP and other water-based inks are not as benign as we all were led to believe in past years.

Out of this all this greenwashing came one MSDS sheet with it’s corresponding REACH specs: AquaRes. So far AquaRes has the least unpleasant solvents of any ink, and in several ways less unpleasant than “water-based ink.”

To be fair, you also have to count the electricity required. So FLAAR has prepared two charts that do all this in an informal manner.

Suffice it to say that “water-based ink” is still accepted as better than any solvent, but resin ink seems to be better (albeit requires much more electricity than water-based inks).

Now Hongsam wallpaper ink has removed most of the solvents

For years wallpaper has been PVC and the ink has been full solvent. The odor would be unbearable in a restaurant or hotel room.

Then lite-/mild-solvent ink came out. A tad better. Or the other way to phrase it, a tad less noxious.

Lots of eco-solvent printer companies have promoted their printers for wallpaper. Sadly most of the wallcovering is still vinyl. But during the last three years, as the popularity of wallcovering has risen, more materials have been developed that are PVC-free, such as polyester. We now have inspected a factory for coating polyester as a wallcovering.

As printing on wallcoverings has continued to grow in potential, there has been a call for inks that are non-solvent (as far as realistic) and inks that don’t require a furnace to cure them (high curing temperatures are expensive and melt or distort many materials). So when we heard that Hongsam was making a non-solvent wallpaper ink, I was interested to inspect their factory and demo room.

HONGSAM has experience with photo-quality inks and printers

Hongsam has exhibited at PMA (photo expo in America) in 2007 and at Photokina, the “Mecca” of photo expositions worldwide, in Cologne, Germany in 2010. FLAAR also had an exhibit at Photokina 2010.

While on the subject of expos, Hongsam attended ITMA which is the top international textile printing expo. Two of us from FLAAR will attend if we can find a hotel room within 100 km!

Hongsam attended the Brazil print expo in 2010; two of us from FLAAR will be there in 2011. Hongsam had a booth at Dubai SGI in 2010, as did FLAAR Reports.

Mimaki JV33-160A
Mimaki JV33-160A


I look forward to seeing Hongsam personnel at FESPA Digital Hamburg 2011

As you might expect of an ink company the size of Hongsam, they will be at FESPA Digital Hamburg, Booth A3-D45.

We are checking to see if Hongsam will be in the ITMA 2012 Barcelona exhibitor list

Later this week we will check if Zhengzhou Hongsam Digital Science & Technology Co., Ltd. will be at ITMA, the highest regarded textile expo in the world (every four years). There is a listing for Hongsam Digital Tech but booth numbers are not yet assigned.

First step in an ink evaluation is a factory visit

I visited the factory of Hongsam for several days in early 2011. In fact I visited both their factories: their original old factory, and the much larger and more modern new factory. I show only one view on this web page due to space considerations; I show more photos in the PDF edition. There will then be a separate FLAAR Report on the company after their new announcements during their upcoming anniversary events this autumn.

Second step is a customer visit

In order to make a decision about any ink, media, printer, cutter, or laminator, you need to find a printshop that is already using the product. We call this a site-visit case study. This year has been so busy around the world that I have already been to China three times, Singapore, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Portugal, Taiwan, Australia: inspecting printshops, ink R&D departments, ink labs, printer manufacturers and visiting trade shows. As soon as I can make time to get an appointment for a printshop using this JETALL ink I will update our report. But since FESPA is coming next week, it is important to introduce this interesting product to the world.

Canon iPF8310samples Steve
Canon iPF8310 samples of photographic printings.


JETALL can print on a lot more than just wallpaper

The PDF edition will discuss all the other materials that JETALL can print on.

First posted May 16, 2011

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