Interview with Uljana Nowak - Sales Director Lahnpaper

What makes Lahnpaper Wallcovering unique in terms of perfection? What makes varitess® the market leader in wallcovering? What are the current trends and developments in the wallpaper sector? Uljana Nowak answers these and many other questions in this interview.

THINK PERFECTION

Lahnpaper Wallcovering stands for “unique · perfection". What makes Lahnpaper's Wallcoverings unique in terms of perfection? 

Lahnpaper's leading product in the wallcovering section is varitess®. varitess® stands for perfect processing and therefore impeccable wallpapering.  
 
The product properties of varitess® are unique: varitess® is a thoroughly efficient product.  When you work with varitess®, paste consumption is minimal due to the low absorbency of the wallpaper.  

The seam behaviour of our non-woven wallpaper is perfect - this means that the wallpaper doesn’t shrink and results in a seamless visual image once on the wall. It is also possible to hang the wallpapers without creasing the panels. 

In addition, due to the thickness of the material all unevenness’s of the wall surfaces can be faultlessly evened out, it has a crack covering effect. Another efficiency factor is time: thanks to the paste the wall process possible with varitess®, you have zero soaking time. Therefore, you can start wallpapering straight away - no waiting time.   

varitess® is a Lahnpaper non-woven and shows all the qualities of high-quality. What are they?  

varitess® belongs to our product line: special non-wovens.  These Lahnpaper non-wovens are good in the sheet formation. During production, the ingredients are so well blended that the non-woven is flat and not cloudy, making it particularly good for an even colour acceptance when you are not working with white only.  

A basic quality of Lahnpaper non-wovens is that they do not absorb much paint and are therefore perfect for painting, making them ideal for the so-called airless process.  

The non-wovens are dry strippable and is perfectly strong. It is tear-resistant in both wet and dry states. These perfect properties make us the market leader for high-quality non-wovens. Proof of the quality: we have had no complaints about these properties.  

THINK COMPETITION

What makes Lahnpaper the market leader for wallcovering? Is it the quantity of production? Is it the quality of the possibilities?

It is certainly both.  
 
In terms of the quality of our non-wovens, we top the competition due to the efficiency factors afore mentioned: cost and time savings: less paste consumption, no waiting time, less paint consumption when painting and even the appearance of the surface..  

What sets us apart in terms of quantity is our production: through a multi-stage production process we can create customized solutions for our customers. This means it enables us to use different process steps in production: whether pigmented, calendared or coated solutions - we make it possible: with high-performance machines and an output of up to 25,000 tons per year.  

 

What were the most important success stories in the last 3 years?

During the covid pandemic, it was prime time for the entire wallpaper industry. Everyone was at home and trying to make their own four walls as beautiful as possible.  

That was a very challenging time for us. At the same time as high production supply chains were not optimally set up . A shortage of raw materials and high energy costs gave the biggest problems.  

As an experienced and flexible service provider, we were able to get a good handle on the situation and make our production even more efficient.  

We have succeeded in identifying future markets and setting a clear focus on them: Examples include joint customer projects for requirements of airless non-wovens, coated digital printable non-wovens and the development of self-adhesive wallpaper for digital printing.

What facts, figures, and data stand for the uniqueness of Lahnpaper Wallcovering?

Our experience clearly stands for the uniqueness of the Lahnpaper Wallcovering division.  

It all began with paper wallpaper. We made the leap to processing other materials, such as non-wovens very early on we intensified the development of non-woven wallpaper. The fact is, that non-woven wallpapers revolutionized the wallpaper market 30 years ago. 

Many pioneers have successful imitators - including us. Our manufacturing process has been adopted and further developed by the competition. That makes us proud.  

We have expanded the advantages of non-wovens: Our process makes it possible to incorporate a particularly high proportion of textile fibres into the non-woven, thus improveing further processing. 

 

THINK FUTURE

How will the wallcovering sector develop over the next 3 years?   

Predicting the future is not easy. We are facing volatile times: Wars, energy crises and unpredictable political decisions make it difficult to see into the future. 

Open room concepts and alternatives, such as plaster or panels are competing with the wallpaper market.  What speaks for the future of wallpaper is the trend towards smooth, matt walls, therefore the advantage of varitess® as a smooth non-woven. People feel confident in painting walls and varitess® makes it possible to paint walls.  

varitess® thus offers uniquely high-quality and sustainable possibilities.  
varitess® is perfect for digital printing: the ink absorption is optimal, and the ink does not seep through. The coating unit during production ensures a smooth surface and precise printing. 

Even without vinyl, acrylic or foam on the non-woven wallpaper, varitess® does a great job. Due to the high proportion of cellulose - a renewable raw material - it is more sustainable compared to other wallpapers on the market.  
 

What are the national / international prospects for the Wallcovering BU?

We see our opportunities for the Wallcovering division in the international markets. Currently, the largest European wallpaper markets are Germany, France and England. Worldwide, they are China, Russia, Japan and Korea. 

Lahnpaper is well positioned on the German market, we will defend this position and at the same time sell our products internationally.  

What are the most important trends for the BU Wallcovering? And how are you responding to them?  

Clear trends are to make the advantages of non-wovens such as varitess® productive for smooth walls - that is the goal on a productive level. Another trend is to make the qualities of our non-wovens known and recognized in terms of sustainability. Last but not least, we want to demonstrate and market the range of non-wovens for digital printing in the context of digital printing possibilities.  

THINK QUALITY

Are there any quality seals / awards that stand for BU Wallcovering?

Independent testing institutes qualify our range: 

  • Quality seal Associations (Lahnpaper is a member of the German Wallpaper Industry association (VDT) and IGI (The Global Wallcoverings Association)):  
    • RAL-GZ 479 of Gütegemeinschaft Tapete e. V.: health and ecological safety of wall coverings according to RAL-GZ 479 of Gütegemeinschaft Tapete e. V.
    • FLAME RESISTANCE: In the assessment of constancy of performance in accordance with DIN EN 15102 for CE marking, the fire behaviorbehaviour of most varitess® qualities was classified as flame retardant. 
  • The majority of wall covering grades are available with FSC® Pulp on request.
  • Selected varitess® grades are certified in accordance with OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100.
  • Emission class A+ 
  • Made in Germany  
  • Free from plasticizers 
  • PVC-free, skin-friendly 
    Breathable thanks to textile fibres and good indoor climate 

Who are your most important partners in realizing unique • perfection?

We are broadly positioned when it comes to networking. Whether customers, suppliers, associations, or producers - we are consistently networking, in order to create perfect, marketable solutions.  
 
Together with our customers, we continue to develop our range and optimize our solutions in line with the requirements of painters and end-users.  
 
The decisive interface for our quality products is, of course, our suppliers, with who, we work closely to achieve the requirements for our range.  

Through our membership of associations, such as VDT (Verband der deutschen Tapetenindustrie) and IGI | The Global Wallcoverings Association (igiwallcoverings.org) we gain continuous access to market information and as well as trends, both of which enables us to participate in important decisions.  

Close collaboration with, for example, printer manufacturers, enables us to expand in digital printing and make our non-wovens productive in use for further processing (laminating, embossing, coating).  

 

April 2024

YOUR CONTACT PERSON

Uljana Nowak
Sales Director

HEADQUARTERS

Lahnpaper GmbH
Auf Brühl 15-27
56112 Lahnstein
Germany

Phone: +49 2621 177-0
Fax: +49 2621 177-609
info@lahnpaper.de

POSTAL ADDRESS

P.O. Box 2178
56108 Lahnstein
Germany

GOODS RECEPTION & LOADING TIMES

Mon to Fri from 7am to 2pm