Flexography is a method of machine printing involving engraved rubber, in the case of wallpaper, formed over rollers. A metal roller, called an Anilox roller, picks up inks from a trough, which are transferred onto the rubber and in turn onto the paper. We have been printing wallpaper Flexographically since 1993, and in that time we’ve developed our machines, inks and processes to produce a flawless finish.
The technology is a little over a century old, being first introduced in Liverpool in the 1890s by Bibby, Baron & Sons to print on paper bags. The original presses were messy and smeared the ink while printing, so much so that the first machine was nicknamed “Bibby’s Folly”.
By the 1920s, the process was gaining popularity, and underwent technical improvements in Germany and the United States, where the machines were mostly used for food packaging. It was in the US that the process aquired it’s name – owner of the Mosstype Corporation, Franklin Moss, opened a naming competition to readers of his industry journal – the winner was “flexographic process (runners up included “rotopake” and “permatone”).
Through the latter half of the twentieth century, big advances were made in the technology; it is now a fast and accurate system with highly sophisticated, low viscosity, environmentally friendly water based inks. The core of our machine is a 1960s stack press COK machine from Denmark; it has been heavily modified by our printer Robert to be the machine it is today, capable of producing wallpapers with great a great feel and an almost screen printed look. We use the machine both for printing and coating the papers, guaranteeing excellent coverage and durability.
Our flexo process is our most cost effective process for larger runs – we offer very competitive prices and the lowest minimums runs available in the UK. Robert oversees each print personally, and is renowned for his attention to detail when matching and mixing colours. We can print with exceptionally fine detail in either 53cm or 60cm repeats, on a standard width of 52cm.