Printerior trend hits South Africa

2017-08-02 06:01
Printeriors are the latest trend in home décor.PHOTO: supplied

Printeriors are the latest trend in home décor.PHOTO: supplied

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PRINTERIORS – or printed interiors – refers to everything from custom wallpapers and wall art printed digitally with the latest technologies available.

It includes murals, digitally printed textiles and wall art printed on materials such as woods, metal, ceramic tiles, glass and Perspex.

“Globally, designers are taking the Printerior trend to mainstream use by leveraging the advances in digital textile printing to create bespoke furniture coverings, cushions, wall coverings, flooring, drapes, table tops, even windows and mirrors, all on-demand and with no minimum meterage,” says Craig Whyte, CEO of digital printing specialists ArtLab.

He says some hotels in Europe are now digitally printing entire hotel room interiors.

“With this technology now arriving on our shores, we expect to see the local design community experiment with the Printeriors concept to create fresh new, authentic, and unique designs.”

Trend 1: From mass production to mass customisation

“Consumers are seeking unique items that can add an air of authenticity to their living and work spaces. While most of South Africa’s textile printing is still conducted at large scale in China, the arrival of new digital textile printing technology lowers the barrier to entry for local textile manufacturers by enabling unique on-demand prints without the huge minimum volume characterising the mass-produced Chinese options,” explains Whyte.

Essentially, the new digital printing technology enables medium and short-run printing without the major start-up costs. This allows one to experiment with designs, fabrics and colours in an affordable and accessible way.

With the new tech enabling printing on any kind of material, designers are limited only by their imagination.”

Trend 2: New wall covering sets a trend

Key advances in technical wall coverings used for interior design applications have also unlocked new opportunities for designers and architects.

“A new material called Airtex out of Germany is a superb new wall covering that can be printed and applied in one piece. Printing on 3,2m-wide rolls allows designers to cover entire walls in one drop.”

Airtex is a tear proof fabric-based wall covering printed with UV cured resin inks that are extremely durable.

The one-piece factor makes for easy installation and removal, and gives a seamless high quality look and feel. “It is most certainly the wallcovering choice of the future,” says Whyte.

Trend 3: Digitally-printed textiles on demand

With no minimums or expensive plate, screen or drum preparation, digital textile printing opens up a whole new horizon of opportunities.

The fast turnarounds, no minimums, and 17 million colours at a push of a button, digital textile printing is set to revitalise the industry in SA as it is doing abroad.

“Artlab has kick-started dozens of small producers in the CMT market who were previously excluded from the textile finishing market because of large minimum orders, commitment and expense.

Even larger producers and homeware stores are taking advantage of not having to hold large amounts of pre-printed stock,” says Whyte.

“No waste or unsold stock with print on demand means huge savings for the industry and the environment.”

He says that consumers are increasingly eco-conscious, preferring products that are durable and don’t become landfill after a season or two.

“Digital printing eliminates much of the environmentally damaging run-off from traditional pigment dyes, providing similar quality but with a much lower impact on the environment. It’s a really attractive value proposition for designers.”

- Supplied.

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