13 November 2007 – A combination of a revolutionary new material and Epson’s Stylus Pro printers and UltraChrome K3 inks are behind Blanc Wall, a brand new personalised wall covering service. Digital images can be enlarged to full wall size and printed on to rolls of the new Phototex self-adhesive and waterproof fabric materials.
The Blanc Wall printing service is provided by Blanc Canvas Ltd, a fine art printing company based in Leeds, owned by Andrew Ainge, the man behind the innovative MetalFX process and inks that pioneered metallic effects for standard offset litho printing.
The company uses an Epson Stylus Pro 9800 printer with Ultrachrome K3 pigment inks to print 61cm-wide rolls of Phototex material. When printed on the substrate, the K3 inks are water- and fade-proof enough to be suitable for use in bathrooms and spas, or even outdoors with a protective coating or laminate. Paul Gillespie, European business development director of Blanc Canvas, says: “Incorporating high density pigments, the Ultrachrome K3 inks produce prints with an extremely wide colour gamut, allowing the reproduction of colours that were originally envisioned at the point of capture.”
A specialist large format scanner is used to capture even heavily textured art such as oil paintings, which are reproduced in two dimensions on the printed Phototex with lighting that reproduces the original appearance. The iScan 3D rostrum scanner can handle very large originals up to 1x2m and the Epson Stylus Pro 9800 can print them up to 2,880 dpi, allowing for very close up viewing if needed.
Phototex is easy to apply and removable without residue. It is available in interior and exterior grades which makes it suitable for anything from homes and offices in place of conventional wallpaper, to temporary displays in shops and exhibitions, and even medium-term outdoor signage. It is based on a material originally developed for small format label printing and is available through Blanc Canvas in widths and lengths suitable for wall covering. Its new adhesive makes application easy because it does not need pasting and it is reposition-able. For a few weeks after application the material can be removed and reused without leaving residue on the wall, making it ideal for temporary displays. However, the adhesive is waterproof and designed for permanent application indoors, while the exterior grades can be left up for several years.