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United Shade Aims to Customize Valance Fabrics
Dicor affiliate United Shade believes both OEM and aftermarket customers will want a few more options when it comes to window shades and valances.
For the latest addition to its Impulse Shade System, United Shade added the option for digitally printed valance fabrics, a move that allows easier customization for RV manufacturers and aftermarket buyers, according to Dicor President Gregg Fore.
“The digital printing is kind of the last part of the customization for the customer,” Fore said.
Fore said that RV manufacturers typically either make their own shades, or have them made by a third-party company, and then places them within the valance.
The complete valance system installs “basically with four screws,” according to Fore, and the end-caps come in interchangeable black or white and three different patterns of wood.
For OEM manufacturers, that means designers can find or design a desired fabric pattern, and United Shade can print the pattern for the valance.
“We can virtually do anything. If you wanted a crackled leather look, if we could scan a piece of crackled leather; we can print the fabric to look exactly like that piece of leather,” Fore said. “It wouldn’t have the texture, but from 3 or 4 feet, it would look just like the leather.”
The process works similar to a laser printer, and is capable of printing 3D patterns on the flat fabric.
“We understand that RV product managers and designers want a unique look that stands out in the crowd, but works with the rest of the interior décor,” said Bob Keller, general manager of United Shade. “By offering digital printing, anything they can imagine can be printed. No sorting through endless swatches or waiting for fabric samples to arrive. Show us an image, we’ll match it or create your own design.”
Owners of older RVs, for which the manufacturer has discontinued the fabric, can benefit from the system too.
“Let’s say you want to redo your valances and shades, but you don’t have enough of the fabric,” Fore said. “Send us the fabric and we’ll scan it, print it on white goods and put it on there.”
The company hasn’t yet nailed down a price for aftermarket customers, but Fore doesn’t anticipate the cost to be much more than purchasing a pre-designed fabric.
“We have to finalize a onesy-twosy setup price, but it’s not that big of a deal because you’re basically just scanning into a computer,” Fore said. “We haven’t finalized it, but it’s not expensive.”
Fore said aftermarket buyers can expect a slight increase in price due to the setup, but considering the size of the fabric, it will remain relatively inexpensive.
“We set out to make a product that had as much customization as possible, and this digital fabric printing is a big part of that. There are some other things that are part of it as well,” Fore said.
The remainder of Impulse shade’s customizable options includes back-lighting in the valance and custom power options, such as battery-powered valance rollers where access to the unit’s main power is not easily available.
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