Story 12

Everything but superficial

To make specialty paper, technical know-how is a must. The experts at Koehler Paper have this knowledge in abundance, and one of ways they use it is by producing decor paper. This type of paper serves as a creative basis for furniture, flooring, and other surfaces, making them very eye-catching. Julia Müller, Director of Decor Paper at Koehler Paper, talked to us about the different uses of decor paper, the challenges of the market, and sustainability in production.

As Director of Decor Paper, Julia Müller knows the different types inside out.

Be it wood grain, imaginative patterns, or a slate look, it is often decor paper that furniture, kitchen, door, and laminate flooring manufacturers turn to when they want to coat the surfaces of their products with something visually appealing yet durable. “Lots of people come into contact with Koehler decor paper every day without even knowing it,” says Julia Müller, Director of Decor Paper at Koehler Paper. Koehler makes different types of decor paper at its production sites in Oberkirch and Kehl – predominantly for customers from Europe, but also those in other parts of the world. “Our customers in the printing industry are the creative minds behind the many different designs of end products. They identify the trends on the market and process the decor paper accordingly. We, on the other hand, take care of the sustainable basis, in other words the raw paper itself,” explains Julia Müller. She knows all about the different types of decor paper: “Print base paper in different colors such as white, gray, brown, or black is produced on PM6 in Kehl. This is used for laminate floors, kitchen worktops, windowsills, and furniture fronts.” Print base paper has a satin finish and is easy to print on using both the intaglio process and digital printing.

Durable and Universal

After the printing process, the print base paper is impregnated with different types of resin to make the surface scratch-resistant and impervious to environmental influences. Customers value the paper‘s excellent impregnability, high level of color consistency, and dimensional stability. “Dimensional stability means that the dimensions of the paper change exactly within predefined limits during further processing, particularly after impregnation,” explains Julia Müller. This ensures structures in the end product have the correct dimensions. Print base paper can be used universally: “Depending on what coatings the customer applies, the print base paper can be used in cutting-edge applications in interior design, or outdoors too,” explains the Director of Decor Paper. “Some business partners also use the paper to make panels for cladding, and so one of the things they offer their clients is the opportunity to create distinct recognition value. It’s so exciting to see everything our customers make from this sort of paper, a highly technical product. The design possibilities are limitless.”

Proud of the Product

In addition to print base paper, Koehler Paper also makes uni-color paper, base paper for foil production, and edging base paper. Edging base paper has been produced on PM3 in Oberkirch since 1967. “You can use edging base paper either on a uni-color basis or print on it in further processing stages,” explains Julia Müller. Koehler is market leader when it comes to edging base paper. Its success is not least down to the years of experience and expert eye of highly trained paper technologists, says the Director of Decor Paper, adding: “They make a product that we’re very proud of.”


Koehler has been producing edging base paper.

As in every industry, new challenges come up time and again in the field of decor paper: “Our industry is closely linked to the construction sector and the general economic situation,” explains Julia Müller. If demand for new real estate, furniture, and interior fittings fluctuates depending on the state of the economy, this also affects the decor paper industry. “With the right business partners at our side and outstanding product and customer service quality, we can meet these challenges confidently.”

Long-Term Viability

Sustainability is a major concern throughout the Koehler Group. As in all departments, the company ensures that the Decor Paper division uses fiber pulp from certified, responsible sources. Plus, an increasing amount of the energy needed for production comes from renewable sources. “The upcoming conversion of the power plant at the Oberkirch site and the switch to biomass that it will involve will mark a decisive step in making the carbon footprint of our edging base paper even more sustainable,” says Julia Müller.

Lots of people come into contact with Koehler decor paper every day without even knowing it.

Lots of people come into contact with Koehler decor paper every day without even knowing it.

Julia Müller

Director of Decor Paper

at Koehler Paper

Story 11

Quality Winning

Koehler Paper has been cooperating with games manufacturer Ravensburger for 60 years. Now it is teaming up with Disney to join in the world of trading card games.

Story 01

Sustainable and ready for the future

Board of Management members Kai Furler, Dr. Stefan Karrer, and Frank Lendowski spoke to us to discuss the future of the Koehler Group.