A Treatise on Calico Printing, Of taking off Blocks for Grounds.

A Treatise on Calico Printing, VOL. I-II
Printed for C. O'Brien, Bookseller, Islington, and fold by Bew, Paternoster-row: Richardson, Royal Exchange: Murray, Fleet-Street: And the Booksellers of Manchester, Glasgow, Dublin, &c.
Having mentioned the inconveniences at tending grounds not fitting, owing to the difficulty of taking off some prints round enough;, the following expedient, or something like it, may be found to answer the purpose, without being obliged to swell the prints, or contract the block: intended, for the grounds:

Let a piece of silk, satin, parchment, leather, or whatever you approve of as so much ductile and elastic, that after being stretched it may be contracted again, of about eleven or twelve inches in width, be fastened at one end to two pieces of wood, see fig. 95, each fourteen or fifteen inches long; and at the other end let two other frames be fixed to run parallel with the silk or whatever else it may be: at the other end let there be nuts to receive two screws which are in the frame, and which being taken hold of by them, you can stretch or widen the im pression which is to be laid on the silk, or other matter, to tlte degree required; which when done, lay the block on it, hitting it on the back as usual, to receive the colour from the impression; thus, you are likely to have your purpose answered, without warping either the, print, or the blocks intended for the grounds.

In taking off prints for the grounds in general, the purpose is best answered by having a piece of thin silk stretched and tightly fastened to a frame, sufficiently broad and long, to receive the largest prints; as this method has much the advantage over paper, in its laying even, and the colour not sinking into it after being used a few times.

In laying down the block to receive the im pression, put the edge very nearly as close as you can, to the impression of the head and side print pitches; and if it be a ground that is to pitch to another ground, observe a similar precaution; as no work in the grounds can come out beyond those, pitches; for by doing thus you save the trouble of sawing off two sides, and sometimes save likewise a portion of block that may be of use.

In order to get impressions clear and black, unless (as is the case sometimes) a black or dark impression is not wanted, rub the faces with a spunge just wetted with sumach or gall liquor.

In taking blocks off with the silk, they want but two or three smart strokes, and sometimes none, to get off the impression; but whether taken off from paper or silk, the blows should be smart and sharp, or the impression will be either faint or coarse.

When a person has not the conveniency of a table, tub, and sieve, some treacle and lamp black may be mixed, and diffused with a pad made of smooth soft leather, stuffed with wool, over the face of the print; then (as this compo sition will not soon dry) lay a stiff piece of paper on the face, pressing it sufficiently all over, in order to receive the impression on it; which when done, take it off without rumpling it; lay it on the face of the block, and gently rub or press the back till the colour, or at least part of it, be transserred to the block. This however cannot conveniently be done if the work is in detached places, or if it be a large or loose flowing trail.

If you take off with paper, endeavour to have your paper smooth and pretty stiff; for if soft, the colour will be imbibed by it, and of course less will be transserred to the block; foolscap run through the calendar is perhaps as well as any; as that process renders the surface glossy, and the colour lays longer on it.

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