As part of this months focus on surface design texture, Design Insider takes a unique look inside Newmor Wallcoverings manufacturing plant.
Based in Welshpool, only 4 miles from the English/Welsh border, Newmor is the largest independent commercial wallcovering manufacturer in the UK. Still family owned, the secret to this international operations success has been their specialist knowledge in creating unique textured vinyl effects that are both striking and incredibly hardwearing.
The demand for commercial textured wallcoverings has increased globally. The ability to infuse texture in a surface which can been created in a myriad of colours and metallic effects opens endless design possibilities. Combine this with the easy clean, tough exterior which is forgiving on rough walls, it’s no wonder that vinyl wallcoverings have become a commercial design staple.
David Johnston Commercial Director explains, ‘our products are engineered to withstand the most demanding commercial environments in hospitality, healthcare, marine, retail and aviation. We have pioneered many of the manufacturing processes in producing commercial-standard textured vinyl wallcoverings. Being in control of the manufacturing process is key, we design, manufacture and distribute pretty much everything from our specialist facility in Welshpool.’
The manufacturing team has decades of collective experience. With texture so much in demand, both traditional and new printing processes have their place at Newmor. Each year there is investment in both the original plant which uses specialist engraved rollers to create distinctive effects and their new digital facility which allow for greater flexibility for short-run bespoke design. David is very clear on Newmors commitment to invest and manufacture in the UK, ‘we make a specialist product which requires a skilled workforce. It’s true that having our own facility gives us a competitive edge, being able to design and manufacture in one location delivers much greater flexibility to our customers’.
Design Insider followed one wallcovering through the traditional production process:
Concept design – whether its one of many stocked ranges Newmor launch each year or a bespoke design for a commercial installation it all begins in the design studio. From colour development to creating trials with textures every design will go through the studio before its realised for production.
Mixing the base – the manufacturing process begins with mixing the base colour. Unlike most manufacturers who opt for a standard neutral base and only apply colour during print, Newmor apply colour in each layer. The coloured base ensures greater depth of colour and improved wear once installed. Maintaining colour accuracy is crucial, so batch variations are tightly controlled through Newmors colour laboratory located in the heart of their factory. Each colour is approved by both eye and measuring against the design standard on their colour spectrophotometer.
Only once the base formula is approved is it applied to the chosen substrate which come in a range of fabric and paper specifications.
At this stage a Newmor wallcovering is only half way through the production process, next comes printing the design. The approved colours are applied as a separate layer to build the overall design. Each design is checked to ensure colour and match against the design master.
Then the exciting part, texture is applied using unique engraved rollers. Each roller costs £000’s and Newmor have hundreds to choose from. Enabling them to create striking design and texture combinations for their customers world-wide.
Each design goes through a final check before packaging and despatch.
Now operating in over 60 countries worldwide with regional offices in Poland, Germany, Dubai, Singapore and Hong Kong, we asked David what he saw as the next challenge, ‘We see the demand for custom design increasing in all of our markets so have structured our design and manufacturing facility to offer bespoke solutions.
Products can be tailored to individual specifications. On the commercial side, we distribute through our own regional offices and through a network of agents and have plans to expand into new territories’.
It’s always reassuring to see UK manufacturing leading the market in design and production.