Our residential grade coated wallpapers are printed by hand using a screen printing method. We screen print on a 120’ long table, and often print several tables worth of a wallpaper/colorway in one print run. Every time we do a new print run on these long tables, we mix up a fresh new batch of ink so as to keep the color and the ink at its optimal consistency. Once we have printed a set number of tables of wallpaper, the wallpaper is cured, inspected, cut into rolls, and labeled. This batch of wallpapers is what is called in our industry a “dye lot”. This means that all of the rolls of wallpaper from this dye lot will have an identical ink and background color, since it is all printed from the same batch of ink on the same background color.
The next time we print a batch of the same wallpaper/colorway, the ink/background color could be very slightly different - we can not guarantee a perfect match between dye lots. This is standard across the wallcovering industry. As a result, every wallpaper is labeled with a dye lot. Wallcovering installers know to inspect every wallpaper roll and ensure that all of the rolls that they are working with are from the same dye lot.
For this reason, it is very important to ensure that you have ordered enough wallpaper to complete your project, including standard overage. When you receive your wallpaper order, it will all be from the same dye lot (it is the responsibility of the installer/buyer to inspect and confirm this prior to installing). If your installer runs short of wallpaper for the installation for whatever reason, the installer/designer will need to inquire at Thatcher as to whether there is more wallpaper available for purchase from the same dye lot. Our dye lots tend to sell out quickly, so we can never guarantee that we will have more wallpaper left from the corresponding dye lot. If we no longer have any wallpaper left from the same dye lot, dye lots will need to be mixed in order to complete your project. This is not ideal, but it can be done.
If you need to mix dye lots, you may do so, but we can not guarantee a perfect color match between dye lots. Therefore, we recommend that you change/break dye lots in the corner/end of each wall, not in the middle of a wall. For example, if you were mixing dye lots on two walls - north and west, we would recommend that you install one dye lot on the west wall, and another dye lot on the north wall, rather than starting a new dye lot in the middle of the west wall. This means that you may need to order an extra roll or two in order to be able to ensure that you are not starting a new dye lot in the middle of a wall. Light will hit different walls at different angles, casting shadow and light variation which can provide an opportunity to camouflage any slight color variations between dye lots. Finally, we never recommend staggering dye lots in an A B A B fashion along one or more walls. Always break your dye lot in your wall corner.