Posts Tagged ‘dye lot’

Run Numbers Are Important

April 14, 2019


I hung two wallpapers today, both from Anthropologie, and in both cases, the homeowner measured and purchased paper before I had measured and figured how much to buy. In both cases, they were a double roll short. I told them that when they ordered the extra double roll, to be sure to ask for the same run number as the rolls they already had.

Unfortunately, in both instances, Anthropologie sent a different run. Probably, the guy in the warehouse didn’t get the message from the people in the order department, so he just pulled any old bolt of paper off the shelf.

Run numbers DO make a difference. As you can see in the second photo, the butterflies are clearly different colors. And in the third photo, the color difference (red flower, brown leaf) is less dramatic, but still noticeable. The white background is probably a slightly different color, too. If these strips were placed next to each other on the same wall, you would notice an abrupt color difference the full height of the wall.

So it’s important to make sure that all your bolts of wallpaper are of the same run number.

Run number, also called batch number or dye lot, refers to rolls that were all printed at the same time. The next time the manufacturer is ready to print up that pattern, he will mix up a new batch of ink – but that batch might be a slightly different shade than what was printed previously.

Because these color differences will be noticeable on the wall, it’s important that they not be used next to each other. You can use different runs on separate walls, but not on the same wall. If you are forced to use broken runs, as they are called, you’ll need to buy a little extra paper, because there will be more waste as you switch from one run to the other.

Different Runs

February 8, 2019


Look at the center of the photo. See that slight color difference between the strip on the left and the strip on the right? This is most likely due to the two strips coming from two different run numbers. These can also be called batch numbers or dye lots.

This means that all paper that is printed from one batch of ink is given a run number. Three months later, when the manufacturer is ready to print another lot of wallpaper, a new pot of ink is mixed up. Chances are that that new kettle of ink won’t be exactly-dactly the very same shade as what was used previously.

This means that the two batches of wallpaper will be ever so slightly different in color. If strips of paper from the two different runs are put on the wall next to each other, you will notice the color difference. So each batch of ink, and the paper that is printed with it, is given a run number.

That way, the installer can be sure that all the wallpaper for his job will be printed at the same time, of the same run number, and all the same shade.

Checking for run number is the first thing every installer should do, before starting to hang wallpaper. In fact, in my “how to prepare for install day” info pack, I ask my clients to check to be sure all bolts are of the same run number. That way, if there is a problem, there will be time to return the bolts and get new paper that is all of the same dye lot.

If you end up with a broken run (two or more different run numbers), it is possible to use the paper, but you have to keep the different runs on separate walls… your eye will not notice a subtle color difference if the papers are on different walls. But this uses up a lot more paper.

Need a Little Reading Material in the Bathroom? ??

November 2, 2018


What fun wallpaper! This is very similar to grasscloth. But, instead of using natural grasses and reeds, this material is made of strips cut from magazine pages, rolled and folded into long narrow strips, and then sewed onto a paper backing. In some of the columns, you can actually read the words!

There is a similar product made from old newspapers – appropriately named “Yesterday’s News.”

I hung this in a powder room in a new, contemporary home in the Rice Military neighborhood of Houston. The homeowner, Cristin Wells, is an interior designer http://www.wellsdesignedhome.com/ who recently moved here from Chicago (not far from my hometown of St. Louis!), and brings her sophisticated playfulness here to the Bayou City.

This product is similar to grasscloth in that the seams are very visible. So I engineered the room to have seams fall evenly spaced on each wall, which we call balancing, and which gives a pleasing effect.

In addition, the material can be shaded, or paneled, which means there can be a noticeable color difference between strips, even if they come off the same bolt. In the third photo, you see how I have rolled the paper out on the floor, to check for shading / paneling, so the homeowner will be aware of this issue, and so I can plot how and where to use the various strips.

Indeed, before consulting with me, the homeowner initially purchased two bolts of paper; when I measured the space I told her that she needed five more. The additional bolts arrived in a different run. Run and batch and dye lot numbers are important – all bolts from the same run or batch were printed at the same time with the same batch of ink, and will generally be pretty much the same shade. Papers from a different run will be a slightly different shade, and will be very noticeable if placed next to one another on the same wall. This is true even with this recycled magazine page material – see the third photo – although instead of printing with ink, the ladies who manufacture this stuff (usually in China or somewhere in Asia) are grabbing handfuls of magazine pages. As you can see, color variations are still quite possible / probable.

In addition to the 10′ high ceilings, the room had a few features that made the install tricky. One was a deeper than usual vanity, which was difficult and somewhat dangerous to reach over to access the wall. This was also a “floating” vanity, which hung suspended on the wall with a short space underneath it that wanted to be covered with wallpaper. Contorting myself under a 30″ deep vanity into a 5″ high space to stick a couple of strips of paper to a rear wall that no one would ever see questioned my sense of reason – but I could not imagine leaving the wall unpapered, so I “got ‘er done!” Sorry, no photo.

Being a contemporary styled home, the window was recessed with a 1/2″ return,. This meant that I had to bring the paper to the edge of the window, and then wrap a mere 1/2″ around an outside corner. The paper was thick and didn’t want to make this turn, and, when it did, it didn’t want to stay stuck – it kept trying to lift up. Wetting the paper helped soften it so it was more agreeable to making these turns, and in some areas I also used a razor blade to make light horizontal slits in the material, right on the edge of the corner, to reduce tension and allow it to turn more easily. Sorry, no photo.

Speaking of making cuts … This stuff was thick and hard to cut, so it took a lot of pressure and several swipes to make many of the cuts, even with a brand new razor blade. When I trimmed the material horizontally at the ceiling and floor, the strings that held the folded magazine pages to the backing were cut also, and they came loose. That meant that there was nothing holding the folded magazine pages to the paper.

It turns out that each of those horizontal strips of folded magazine pages contained about 6 layers of paper, each folded accordion-style. Threads were sewn on to hold them to the backing. But once the threads were cut, the accordion-folded papers unfurled, spread apart, and pushed away from the backing. So when you looked at the ceiling or floor lines, you saw a puffy ridge running the width of the strip.

What I ended up doing was to go up to the ceiling and then down to the floor edges, gently pry apart the fanned layers, and use wallpaper paste to adhere them to one another. I had to get sufficient paste behind each of the six layers, for the entire 3′ width of each strip, press them back together, hold them until the adhesive tacked up – all without getting any paste on the paper or on the ceiling.

All of the above added a lot of time to this job, and I didn’t leave until 9:30 p.m. But the room looked great when I was finished. From its initial uninspired dull grey paint job to the colorful and quite unexpected recycled magazine pages covering the walls, this powder room has experienced a major transformation.

The wallpaper is by Seabrook, which has been purchased by York. Both are wonderful brands.

Run Away From Two Different Runs

March 7, 2017
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Look at the number right next to my pencil, and then look at the corresponding number below it. These two bolts of wallpaper have two different run / batch / dye lot numbers, meaning, they were printed at two different times, from two different batches of ink.

This means that they can be slightly, or even VERY slightly different in color. But even a slight difference in color can be eye-jarring on the wall, when you have two 9′ strips of wallpaper next to one another.

 

Shaded Grasscloth

March 10, 2016

Grasscloth, Shaded
This grasscloth displays what we call “shading” – slight difference in color between strips.

Additionally, often the dye will be darker on the right and left edges of the paper, than it is in the center.  Sometimes, the color difference starts horizontally in the middle of a strip.

This paper is still on the roll. Imagine how it will look on your wall.

When each strip on wall is a slightly different color, we call that “paneling.”

All these bolts are the same run number / dye lot, meaning they were printed at the same time with the same batch of ink.

This is not considered a defect. It is what the manufacturers call “the inherent natural beauty of the product.”

They will not replace material that looks like this.

Not all grasscloth looks this bad, but many do. If you choose any sort of natural material, be prepared for your walls to look like this.

This brand is Schumacher.

Color Difference in Grasscloth

November 27, 2015

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Here are two strips of grasscloth from the same run number / dye lot – meaning that they were printed at the same time from the same batch of ink. Notice the very visible difference in color between the two strips. Dry, on my table, the difference is noticeable. Pasted and up on the wall, the color difference can be jarring.

This is called “paneling” or “shading,” and is considered standard / acceptable when decorating with grasscloth. As the manufacturers put it, it is part of the “inherent natural beauty of the product.”

Same Grasscloth; Different Colors

November 15, 2015
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The grasscloth on the right was bought a year or so ago. It was left over and the homeowners wanted to use it on a new project. They needed additional paper to do the space, and so ordered a new bolt of paper. As you can see, there is a noticeable difference in color and texture between the two bolts, manufactured at different times. This is known as “run number” or “dye lot.”

It is also called “shading” and “paneling,” which refers to the difference in color between strips on the same wall. I had enough paper to cut all my strips from the new bolt, so there was minimal color difference on this project.

Runs and Dye Lots … Have Me Measure FIRST!

April 23, 2014

I recently did a bid where the homeowners already had their paper. The problem was, they had grossly underestimated how much paper they needed. They had a total of 5 single rolls, but the job actually called for something like 26.

This is a special problem with their selections. They had chosen some quite pretty custom made, very high end papers, made to order out of state.

The problems are many and are serious. Besides having to order quite a bit more of the very expensive paper, chances are the new paper will not match what they already have, so they will have to throw away that paper and buy even more.

When paper is made, there is a “batch,” “dye lot,” or “run” number, meaning all the paper printed at that time came out of the same “batch” of ink. It’s important to use paper all from the same run. Papers printed at a different time from a different run will have a very slight color variation, because the dyes and inks were mixed at a different time.

Will this matter? You bet! If you have to use a “broken run,” it’s best to keep different runs on seperate walls. You don’t notice a slight difference in color so much, because light hits one wall differently from how it hits another wall.

The bad part about this is that if you have to split a strip of paper, as you often do, you can’t use half of the strip on one wall and then on the second wall, and then start with a new run, because the color difference WILL show when strips are next to one another on a flat wall. You can never put different numbered runs next to one another on the same wall – the difference shows as clearly as if you used strips of totally different colors. This means you end up having to buy even more paper, to allow for the difference in dye lots.

Four Bolts, Three Runs

December 5, 2012

Digital Image Here we have Runs AAA, CCC, and ZZZ. What’s wrong with that?

Run numbers, or dye lots, refer to when the wallpaper was printed. All paper that was printed at the same time will have the same run, batch, or dye lot number. Because there can be slight variations in color the next time they mix up a caldron of ink, the manufacturer marks each batch with a number.

Because of the slight variations in color, it’s important to use all the same run number on a wallpaper job. The exception is when you can “break” a run, at a corner, for instance. You can use different runs on different walls, because light hits each wall differently, and your eye expects to see a difference in color. But you can NEVER put two different runs next to each other on the same wall – you are sure to see the color difference along the entire length of the strips.

You can use broken runs in certain instances, but it requires a lot more paper.