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How are wallpapers made?

It may be hard for us to comprehend the extensive process that goes into wallpaper manufacturing. In order to appreciate wallpapers, we must first understand all the aspects that go into producing wallpapers. These aspects include wallpaper designing and its manufacturing process.

The anatomy of a wallpaper

The backings can be woven (made out of woven cotton) and non-woven (made out of wood and synthetic materials).

A ground coat is the background colour that will be the main canvas for the designs to be printed on.

Adhesives or pastes are usually made out of starch which has to be wet right before application.

Design process

In the industry, wallpaper designers are in charge of coming up with various designs. The design process is started by pencil sketching out a design on tracing paper.

Once the design has been finalized, a finalized sketch with colour will be produced.

This finalized sketch will then be processed and sent to a printer for printing. It is essential to ensure that proper printing settings are chosen. A sample wallpaper will first be printed for quality control Once the sample has been approved, the paper will be printed on a commercial scale to be shipped off and supplied to vendors.

Manufacturing process


Paper used in making wallpapers are produced at paper mills. Groundwood sheets and wood pulp sheets are usually produced for the purpose of wallpaper making.

For groundwood sheets, the bark of a selected tree is first removed. The remaining part of the tree will be grounded on a spinning tread into groundwood sheets which are usually used to make wallpaper backing.

For wood pulp sheets, a tree is first debarked and chipped. Chipped wood is deposited into a pulp mill where it will be chemically processed and bleached.

Paper mills usually produce roughly one ton of paper which will be supplied to printing companies.


The backing of the wallpaper has to be first coated. Usually, groundwood sheets will be coated with coloured vinyl. Wood pulp sheets will be coated with Kaolin Clay to make it easier to drape, titanium dioxide to ensure that the backing is opaque and latex to enable the wallpaper to be handled easily.


Surface printing

This technique is the oldest automated printing technique in the industry. During the printing process, surface machines coated with large amounts of ink are pressed onto the paper. The impressions created through this technique may not be crisp as compared to other techniques. Surface printing is usually used to create floral patterns of different colours.

Rotary printing

Rotary printing utilizes a cylinder to create imprints of the same pattern on the paper. The cylinder is rotated continuously to cover large sections of the paper.

Gravure printing

Gravure printing is a type of rotary printing technique which uses a cylinder that has been engraved with the designated pattern or image. During printing operations, the engraved cylinder is dipped into an ink tray. A doctor blade will scrape away excess ink before the cylinder comes in contact with the paper.

The cylinder will be pressed down onto the paper with a calculated amount of force to ensure optimal coverage. The inked paper will be passed through a dryer before the next coating of ink is applied. This process will be repeated until the final image is produced.

The gravure technique is considered to be a high-quality printing technique and is usually used to produce industrial-grade products in large volumes.

Screen printing

Screen printing otherwise known as serigraphy is a printing technique where the ink is transferred using a mesh or screen onto the paper. The mesh will be applied gently onto the paper, each mesh is coated with different colours which will be used to produce different coloured designs.

Digital printing

Digital printing this printing technique is the newest addition to the wallpaper printing industry. A digital pattern or image is uploaded onto a desktop and printed using laser or inkjet printers.

This method of printing incurs a high cost per page compared to traditional offset printing. Nonetheless, the hike in cost can be bypassed by cutting down the need for the technical set up of equipment.

Digital printing allows for faster on-demand printing and convenience in making modifications. This enables wallpaper producers to save on time and resources. Digital printing is expected to continue to advance the wallpaper printing industry and may take over the place of offset printing methods to produce higher volumes of a wallpaper at a much lower cost.

Each wallpaper printing method has its pros and cons in terms of cost-effectiveness, production volume, production time and other factors. A printer will choose the printing method that will best serve their business with a budget, production output and revenue in mind.

The printed wallpapers will then be sent off to suppliers and sold to consumers.

Introducing Craft Axis

Craft Axis is a leading vendor of wallpapers and window dressings in Singapore. Visit us to buy wallpapers in Singapore; we procure wallpapers of the highest quality from leading suppliers in countries such as Korea, Japan, Europe and the United States. Our selection of wallpapers come in a wide range of designs and patterns. You can even commission for a custom-made wallpaper of your dreams. Our team will be at your service to advise and help with the installation of wallpapers in your home.

For installation, we use the water-based Ready Mixed Wallcoverings Adhesive that is to be applied onto the backing of your wallpaper before application. This is a PVA based product which is specially formulated for luxury vinyl which can be used for both paper and fabric backing, textiles, Hessians, polystyrene tiles, polystyrene coving and polystyrene veneers.

Not only is the adhesive easy to use, but it is also non-hazardous, non-toxic, non-flammable and non-staining. The adhesive is solvent and formaldehyde-free and is certified with the Singapore Green Label. The product is made in England and complies to CLP European Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 & BS3046/1981 which are specifications set for adhesives for hanging flexible wallcoverings.

Contact us at Craft Axis to view our collection of wallpapers, consult our experts for quality advice when picking out the right wallpaper and buy the wallpaper that will transform your space.

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